Community Back to School Drive Continues with Adjustments Amid COVID-19

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GAINESVILLE, FLA – Partnership for Strong Families (PSF), the lead child welfare agency in North Central Florida, is partnering with community partners and donors amid the COVID-19 pandemic to fill backpacks with school supplies for children in foster care during their annual Back to School Drive.

While the return to school may look different for every local youth due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PSF is committed to making sure that their children are prepared to learn in any environment. PSF is ensuring the protection of donors and staff with several contact-free options for their donors. Some options include: purchasing school supplies on their Amazon Wishlist and having them delivered to their office and making a financial donation on their website. PSF staff will also practice social distancing and safe sanitary conditions while packing students’ backpacks, which starts July 20. In 2019, PSF packed over 400 backpacks, and due to the increased economic need as a result of the pandemic, expect to serve over 500 children this year.

“As a community, we want to ensure that safety comes first,” said Patty Carroll, Director of Community Relations and Recruitment for Partnership for Strong Families. “Despite dealing with a pandemic, our partners and staff will go above and beyond to ensure that our children have the supplies they need in order to have a successful school year.”

The Back to School Drive is a collaborative effort between PSF and dozens of partners and individual donors. PSF thanks all the individual donors and organizations who have pledged their support for this year’s drive, including

  • Uniao de Vegetal Gainesville
  • Alachua County Sheriff’s Office
  • CROM Corporation
  • UBS Financial Services
  • Gulf Coast Supply
  • Trinity United Methodist Church
  • The Gainesville Vineyard
  • Greenhouse Church
  • University City Church of Christ

“Purchasing school supplies for a school year can put a financial strain on many families we serve,” said Stephen Pennypacker, President/CEO of Partnership for Strong Families. “This year’s Back to School Drive ensures our children will have all the supplies they need to succeed in the classroom while keeping participants safe.”

To learn more about Partnership for Strong Families Back to School Drive, please visit https://www.pfsf.org/event/backtoschool/ or contact Patricia.Carroll@pfsf.org or 352-359-8169.

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A hallmark of PSF’s system of care is our belief that child abuse is preventable. We have found that by providing resources and supports to families in need on the front end, many can avoid reaching the crises that lead to formal child welfare involvement functions.

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Monetary donations throughout the year are a huge help to the children we serve. We accept donations by check, which can be mailed to our office or through the PayPal link here.

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