SEBRING — At least, so far, the Boys and Girls Club of Highlands County is doing good in receiving donations of school supplies that will be given out later this month, said Woodraun Wright, executive director.
“We’re about half way there,” he said, adding they typically have 300 children who show up at an event to get school supplies.
This year, the organization, along with Citizens Anonymous Responsive Empowerment, will host their back-to-school book bag bash on Aug. 16 at 10 a.m. at the Boys & Girls Club, 111 North Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
The program not only will provide children with school supplies, but also haircuts, food and entertainment.
Wright said the aim is to fill the backpacks with what is on the list of school supplies provided by the Highlands County School District. That typically includes pencils, paper, crayons and folders, he said.
But, he said, “every year we end up running out of supplies.”
Depending on what’s donated and the number of students who attend the event, the backpacks may not contain everything on the school district’s list, he said.
“We do our best with what we have,” Wright said. He encouraged people to bring donations of supplies to Boys and Girls Club headquarters at 248 Pomegranate Ave., Sebring.
The Sebring Church of the Brethren, 700 S. Pine St., Sebring, will give out on a first come-first serve basis 150 backpacks with school supplies for elementary school children on Aug. 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event also will feature water events, free hot dogs, potato chips and drinks and games.
Other efforts involve collecting donations of school supplies and then giving them to schools where the teachers will determine which students are most in need.
Gini Beth Henderson, owner of GB’s Formalwear, 207 Circle Park Drive, said donations can be made at her business during the event, Stuff the Bus, which will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 8 in Circle Park.
The event will include DJ music and games, a cake walk, a dunk tank with local celebrities, including school board members and candidates, face painting and other activities.
Henderson said this is the first year for the event. She said donations of school supplies, including backpacks, pens, pencils and glue, can also be made at the Circle Theatre. Those making donations there will receive free small ice cream cones.
Anyone wanting more information on the event can call Henderson at (863) 402-1902.
The Avon Park Jaycees will be giving 50 backpacks with supplies to schools throughout the county, said Mike Souther, chairman of the board.
The organization and its members will pay for the backpacks and the supplies, Souther added.
The backpacks probably won’t include every item needed, he said. “It will be kind of a starter kit.”
The YMCA, which previously had an event to give out school supplies, will this year give any donations to Big Brothers Big Sisters, which serves 140 students in Highlands County.