Jacksonville leaders provide free school supplies to families in need

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The pandemic’s effects are present in another school year.

The community is stepping up to help families get what their kids need to start the year right.

“It’s extremely important, especially this year. We’re having a pretty traumatic start to the school year,” 121 Financial Credit Union VP of Marketing Adam Wade said.

A back-to-school giveaway at Sulzbacher Village set kids up with free backpacks, school supplies, and more. Officials with the Florida Department of Children and Families also promoted their new Care Coordination Program.

“Some families are in a position where they’re just not able to do that right now for the children. So, for those families, we want to make sure the children, like any other child, in the community when they go to school, they have what they need for school,” Sulzbacher Village Chief Program Officer Brian Snow said.

Families in attendance said events like these are especially helpful because many of them are unable to drive to the store, having no car.

“It helps us out with school supplies [so] that we don’t have to go out and buy [any]. The community is helping us get school supplies, so that’s good,” parent Nitasha Elam said.

Others said it was comforting to know community members are there for them during the pandemic.

“It’s tough during the covid, financially. Everything’s coming together. This is a big help,” parent Larry Sublett said.

Sometimes, just having a pencil makes all the difference.

“You have to show up, like they say you have to be prepared. You need that pencil on your first day to write your name down,” Wade said.