LAND O’ LAKES, Fla. (WFLA)– With the first day of school right around the corner, families are stocking up and shelling out big bucks to make sure students are ready to put their best foot forward.
Yet for hundreds of families in Pasco County, there just isn’t room in the household budget for school supplies.
“We have so many families who are either in transition, homeless…families who have serious illness, issues in their family and back to school shopping is a luxury that they normally can’t do,” said Joanne Hurley, chairman of the Pasco County School Board.
Members of the Fraternal Order of Police Pasco Lodge 29 recognized that need and paired with community partners to raise enough money to take 100 kids in Pasco County back to school shopping- each with a budget of $300.
Filling her shopping cart with clothes and toiletries, Chole Holtsclaw was one of those lucky kids selected and is excited to start fifth grade with a fresh new look.
“I’m happy and excited, I love school!” exclaimed Holtsclaw.
In order to identify these children and help them out, the FOP partnered with the Pasco County School Board, who identified 280 of the county’s most needy that would qualify for the shopping trip, but only 100 could be helped this year.
“When you are talking about the need in our schools, it’s almost overwhelming,” said Hurley.
Hurley hopes this year’s efforts will spark the spirit of generosity in others so that no family is left out next year.
The children selected were from 30 different schools all across Pasco County.
All of the funds raised for the event came through the FOP’s treasury.