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More than 400 backpacks were handed out as students get ready for the school year -

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Fun, education, and games were all at the Second annual Back To School backpack and school supply drive and family field day. As more than 400 brand new backpacks were handed out to kids ahead of the school year.

“There are so many families that we could help out. sometimes it may seem like a little bit but if we all come together to give a little bit it will make a great impact in our community,” said organizer Tierra Ray.

Lauren Queen a parent that attended the giveaway said she’s been to this event both years and her kids are excited to start school.

Her daughter is beginning Pre-K and her son starting his freshman year of college.

“It’s embarking on his level of life journey and he’s ready to start his own stuff and she’s on the same level even though it’s many years behind she’s like alright I’m ready to go to school now.”

Many families are dealing with the effects of inflation and COVID and Queen said events like this help them get through tough times.

“This community is really coming together this time after COVID and this is several events that are going on and it’s just a relief for someone who has a huge family and needs a little bit of extra help. Little affected by COVID still and just trying to get in there and get on top of everything again.”

Kids were able to get haircuts, play games, and learn about different community programs and now they’ll have a backpack, pen, and paper to get ready for this school year.

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