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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Community Giveback event to offer thousands of free backpacks to local students

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of AdventHealth Ocala, the Community Foundation for Ocala/Marion County, and Marion County Public Schools, thousands of local students will receive free backpacks filled with supplies.

The first-ever Community Giveback event, which is supported by Thaddeus Bullard (a.k.a. WWE Global Ambassador Titus O’Neil) and his Bullard Family Foundation, will take place at seven locations throughout Marion County on Saturday, July 30.

During the event, over 6,000 backpacks filled with school supplies will be distributed, just in time for the upcoming school year.

The event’s main location will be at the AdventHealth Ocala Auxiliary Center, which is located at 1542 SW 1st Avenue in Ocala. The event hours will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The following satellite locations will also be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the day of the event:

  • Belleview High School (10400 SE 36th Avenue in Belleview).
  • Dunnellon Middle School (21005 Chestnut Street in Dunnellon).
  • Fort McCoy School (16160 NE County Road 315 in Fort McCoy).
  • Lake Weir High School (10351 SE Maricamp Road in Ocala).
  • Liberty Middle School (4773 SW 95th Street in Ocala).
  • North Marion High School (151 W County Road 329 in Citra).

Parents and guardians can click here to register their students. To serve the most children as possible, students can only be registered for one location.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the event can click here to register through Marion County Public Schools, or contact Lauren Debick (Executive Director of Communications and Community Engagement) via email at: [email protected].

This Marion County Community Giveback effort is part of a larger event sponsored in the Tampa area by the Bullard Family Foundation.

Additional event sponsors include Skanska, Heart of Florida Health Center, SouthState, The Boyd Group, SellState, Ocala Electric Utility, Florida Health–Marion County, FreeD.O.M. Clinic USA, Chick-fil-A Paddock Mall, New Day Christian Fellowship, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Marion County Emergency Management, Marion County Fire Rescue, Stentiford Construction Services, DeLuca Toyota, Regions Bank, Army National Guard, and the College of Central Florida.

To donate to a school supply drive list benefiting this first-ever Community Giveback event, community members, businesses, and others can click here to purchase supplies from Amazon. All purchased items will be shipped to, and distributed by, the Community Foundation.

Donation boxes will also be available throughout Ocala/Marion County and at sponsor locations.

For more information, contact the MCPS Public Relations Office, or contact Ashley Gerds (Director of Strategic Engagement at the Community Foundation for Ocala/Marion County) via phone: 352-622-5020, ext. 105 or email: [email protected].