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One Sarasota organization is letting kids know who's got their backs.

One Sarasota organization is letting kids know who's got their backs.

Making a difference in our community’s future starts with helping our littlest residents and giving them a strong start in their early education. For $20, you can donate a backpack filled with all of the essential supplies these kids need to feel prepared and confident so they can have greater chance at success in school.

Do you remember your first day of kindergarten? The nerves of making new friends, the cheesy outfit your parents dressed you in, and if you were lucky, the brand new backpack they bought for you. Your first backpack symbolized more than just a sack to carry around crayons, teacher’s notes and homework assignments. That one small possession was solely yours and whether you realize it at the time or not, it represented the foundation of your education journey. What if you could give that gift of security and readiness to a child in need right here in Sarasota?

My First Backpack is an entirely online fundraising campaign coordinated by the Early Learning Coalition (ELC) of Sarasota County. The HuB Agency, Sarasota’s premiere collaboration center for purpose-driven organizations, is assisting with marketing this important campaign.

”Our goal is simple.” says David Daly, Managing Partner of the HuB Agency. “Raise awareness and money to help kids (pre-k) in our community that are less fortunate.”

The HuB will be promoting the My First Backpack campaign via social media to assist with generating buzz and directing donors to the Fundly site for more information about the campaign and the ELC’s work in the community over the 90 day campaign.

According to the campaign site, 3,150 children five years old or younger in Sarasota County will not have the basic supplies they need to reach their full potential in early education. The My First Backpack campaign will help raise funds to purchase these supplies and give these children a better chance at success.

“The Early Learning Coalition works together with parents to meet their child’s early learning needs, as well as those families with financial needs who are working hard to help themselves,” says Linda Mason, the Director of Child Care Connection, which is the parent services branch of the Early Learning Coalition.  

“The ELC believes that if a child succeeds in kindergarten, the child is much more likely to succeed in school and in life.”

According to Mason, to bolster this objective, “the ELC helps children to receive those early learning experiences from birth up to kindergarten that set the foundation for their life success and ultimately the success of our communities.”

This year is the first time for the My First Backpack campaign and ELC Executive Director Janet Kahn is optimistic about the awareness that it will raise in the community.

“We hope it is only the beginning in providing for early learning opportunities and supplies necessary [for younger children] to enter school ready to learn and develop that foundation needed to grow and develop,” says Kahn.

“The backpacks will be filled with the basic recommended supplies for school. These important supplies are just one component of a much larger, necessary early learning experience.”

Making a difference in our community’s future starts with helping our littlest residents and giving them a strong start in their early education. For $20, you can donate a backpack filled with all of the essential supplies these kids need to feel prepared and confident so they can have greater chance at success in school.

Visit www.myfirstbackpack.org for more information and to donate.

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When The Giving Gets Good, The Good Gets Giving (How Good Are You?)

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The Giving Challenge is a 24-hour fundraising initiative taking place September 1st through September 2nd from noon to noon. Hosted by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the challenge is celebrating its fourth year and has over 450 local organizations registered.

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