1M FL kids in need of school supplies

Clearwater, Florida -- An alert this afternoon about the future of our community.

You probably know there are a lot of kids in the Tampa Bay area who need school supplies but can't afford them. But the actual numbers are stunning.

One out of every four children in Florida lives in poverty -- that's nearly a million kids.

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On Friday, a group of students filled a noisy, crowded multipurpose room in Clearwater and worked hard to help. On the tables were what looked like just backpacks with pencils and notepads. But for a kid who gets one, it's money their parents can now spend on food instead of school supplies. It's a career that child now has a shot at because they're prepared.

In this controlled chaos, students like Kaymie Van Benthuysen appreciate the big picture.

"We've all needed help at some point or another, so to give back is really important," Van Benthuysen said. "And education is one of the most important things."

That's why she and around 50 fellow students from a private school, Washburn Academy, spent Friday morning jamming 700 backpacks full of donated supplies.

The North Greenwood Community Coalition coordinated all of the donations. The backpacks will go to underprivileged kids around Clearwater. With around $20 worth of supplies in each backpack, the value to the students who get the bags is huge.

And the value of what the students who pack the bags are learning -- compassion and service -- is tremendous, too.

Kids need school supplies, and so do local teachers. 10 News is partnering with Walgreens to collect school supplies for Bay area teachers.

It's easy to do: buy some extra supplies at your local Walgreens and donate them at the register.

10 News will be giving out Teacher's Toolboxes filled with supplies to schools and staff members of schools in low-income neighborhoods.


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