Volunteers fill more than 30,000 backpacks with supplies ahead of next school year


On Saturday, 500 volunteers gathered at the Amalie Arena for the “Big Backpack Build”, to fill more than 30,000 bags with school supplies ahead of the start of the school year at Raymond James Stadium on August 6.

“Everything you can imagine a child needs to start the school year strong is all over this room this morning and it’s a wonderful event because so many of our students and families don’t have the resources to go out and buy all of these things, so this wonderful partnership with the Bullard Family Foundation, it’s so impactful for tens of thousands of our students,” said Stacy Hahn, board member of the Public Schools of Hillsborough County.

Supplies placed in backpacks include notebooks, folders, pencils, crayons, and glue sticks.

“It’s been a great experience, we love partnering with the Bullard Family Foundation, there’s no better way to invest in this community and that’s with our children and their education, and the Foundation of the Bullard family has really made it a priority,” said Ernie Garateix of Heritage Insurance, one of the event’s sponsors.

When families pick up backpacks at Raymond James Stadium on August 6, children can also benefit from haircuts and various health services to ensure they are healthy and ready for the school year.

The event is free through corporate partnerships with AdventHealth, Skanska, Heritage Insurance, Jabil, Tampa General Hospital, Florida Blue, Suncoast Credit Union and many others.

Registration is not required for entry, but families must register for medical, dental, and eye care services.

LINK: Register for the event here.

LINK: Families can also sign up for backpacks here.

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