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Grace Place provides hundreds of backpacks for families

Grace Place provides hundreds of backpacks for families
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NAPLES, Fla. — A Southwest Florida non-profit is getting in the back-to-school spirit by helping families.

Grace Place for Children and Families held their annual back-to-school bash, giving out free backpacks and school supplies.

“There’s more than 25 different groups here supporting the community today.”

A stock hold of backpacks were passed out to families free of charge.

“We’ve got, roughly, 550 backpacks that we’re going to give away,” said Lara Fisher, CEO of Grace Place for Children and Families. “We’re still giving backpacks away so for those in the community who don’t get a backpack today, we will continue to be able to give out backpacks thru when kids start school.”

It’s thru the non-profit’s annual Back-To-School Bash. Giving families one less thing to worry about ahead of the new school year.

“I guess more people are in need this year, that’s why we have more people coming in,” said Usveidy Gutierrez, a Naples mother and one of those standing in line. “The more kids you have, the more expensive it gets, not only in supplies but also in uniforms. So if we can get some help in supplies, at least we don’t have to spend as much and we can put it toward something else that we need to spend the money on.”

The event comes just days before Florida’s statewide back-to-school sales tax takes effect. With retail stores cutting costs on school supplies for a limited time. Things like clothing and footwear, with a sales price of $100 or less.

“A lot of people will be getting their uniforms, or their shoes, or their school supplies, or whatever they need to finish up getting if they haven’t started already,” said Melanie Knapp, also in line.

Offering parents a solution to the daunting — and expensive — task of back-to-school shopping.

“I know a lot of families it’s hard for nowadays with everything that’s going on to get backpacks and school supplies,” says Knapp. “Even haircuts because haircuts are quite expensive.”

“Having two kids right now in school, sometimes I have to pick up two or three of everything and it just gets too expensive,” said Gutierrez. “That’s why I try to wait and save a little bit of money every week to be able to have enough so when I go to the store again, I can get everything at the same time.”

The sales tax holiday starts Monday and will run thru August 7. In the meantime, Grace Place says they will continue offering families assistance any way they can.

“We want to be able to continue the levels; donations are always needed, volunteers are always needed,” said Fisher. “We’re just working really hard to make sure that we can continue quality programming.”

Written By

Avi Adkins is a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail. With years of experience in the field, Adkins has established himself as a respected figure in journalism.

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