Kids preparing 500+ free backpacks with school supplies at Brentwood Library

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — You can pick up a free backpack for your child at the Brentwood Library this Saturday! You still have time to register.

Kids with the Friends of Brentwood Library are putting together free backpacks with school supplies to make a difference in their neighborhood.

13-year-old Keyshawn Drummond has earned his Friends of the Brentwood Library Young Ambassador title by putting in several volunteer hours each day. On Monday, he was helping pack supplies into all 528 backpacks.

“I see a lot of poverty happening,” he said.

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“We see that Ms. Coon needed help, so we volunteered,” he added.

Ms. Coon is Sharon Coon, the founder of the Friends of Brentwood Library.

“Those backpacks are not just your average backpack,” she explained. “We put together what the teachers said that they need in their classroom.”

Otherwise, teachers need to fill the gap.

“Elementary teachers do a whole lot,” Drummond said. “My elementary teacher has spent a whole paycheck just on the whole school.”

Now, these backpacks are available for students K-12.

All you have to do to get one for your child is make sure to fill out a pre-registration form at the library by Thursday.

The Friends group will distribute these backpacks on Saturday.

Farm Share Jacksonville has also generously volunteered to give away free food at the August 7 event.

Contributors to the event include Councilman Reggie Gaffney, Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation, Target Stores, Full Service Schools of Jacksonville, Friends of Brentwood Branch Library and other community members.

This collaboration between the Brentwood Library and Friends of the Brentwood Library goes back eight years, when the library was about to close for good.

“We just began to lobby and advocate,” Coon said.

She founded the friends group to save the library for the kids.

“And the people responded,” she added.

Today, this group is inspiring young kids like Drummond to give back.

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“I hope that this helps parents in need to know that they have a little bit of weight lifted off their shoulders,” the soon-to-be eighth grader said.

And coming from a single-parent household, he knows the difference this makes.

“My mother doesn’t have to rush and try to strike a nerve providing all these things for four children,” Drummond pointed out. “And then, at school, I can have a little bit more ease on my shoulder cause I can have more time studying and getting ready for the new school year.”