Jacksonville teen raises $11,000 to buy school supplies for kids in need

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — One teen is taking on the initiative to help those less fortunate get what they need for school here in Jacksonville.

Taylor Richardson has given out thousands of backpacks and school supplies to local youth over the years; but this year, she raised an exceptional amount of money to do so.

With school around the corner, the National Retail Federation’s annual survey reports record spending amounts for school supplies, with more students returning to in-person classrooms.

>>LINK: Back to School Backpack Drive for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida

However, not all parents and kids can afford back-to-school shopping.

Richardson is making sure every student has what they need to start the school year right.

“We’re just giving away backpacks, pencils, other paper, other school supplies, things like that,” Richardson said.

This year, she shattered her $5,000 goal, raising more than $11,000. The money will be distributed to four organizations and used to buy backpacks and supplies for the back-to-school jamboree.

“The first organization is Alpha Starz,” mother Latonja Richardson said. She said the others were based in Miami, Florida; South Carolina and Georgia.

In the last two weeks before the jamboree, Richardson needs your help.

“To get an education is really important. You need to have information. So, in order for kids to do that they need school supplies, pencils, and paper … it’s just basic necessities I feel like other kids should have,” Richardson said.

You can donate money to her GoFundMe, cash app, or purchase an item off her Amazon Wishlist.

The 9th Annual Back 2 School Jamboree will be on Aug. 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Emmett Reed Community Center and Park. All students and families are welcome.

Free COVID-19 vaccines will also be available.