The Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida announces the kickoff of the Adopt-A-Student fundraiser in support of the 21st Annual Big Backpack Event, a back-to-school festival and school supply giveaway that will be held on Sunday, July 26, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m at The Skatium in downtown Fort Myers. Each $10 donation will “adopt a student” for the 2020/2021 school year and provide them with a new backpack and school supplies, including notebook paper, folders, Crayola crayons, Elmer’s glue, pencils, pens and more.
The BIG Backpack Event is the largest back-to-school outreach program in Lee County each year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and need for social distancing, organizers were fearful they would have to cancel the event which draws an estimated crowd of 5,000 people annually. Since unemployment numbers have soared, the struggles families are facing this year have become overbearing for some, so organizers came up with a way to provide safe, curbside assistance to keep the event scheduled.
“As we face this pandemic, the need for our Big Backpack Event to serve the needy students of our community is even greater this year,” said Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida Founder, Leonardo Garcia. “We are inviting the community to join us to support more than 2,000 students and families in need with your financial support of $10 or more.”
Families can expect a very different event experience this year. Parents and students will remain in their vehicles as they approach the Skatium and be greeted by the sights and sounds of live music and street performers to celebrate back-to-school. Children must accompany parents or guardians in the vehicle in order for them to receive a backpack. Each vehicle will be directed by volunteers to slowly drive-by to pickup new backpacks, essential school supplies, snacks, and other fun giveaways curbside- all in an effort to keep volunteers, students and families safe and healthy.
Sponsors for the 2020 BIG Backpack Event include: Lee County Family News, WINK TV, CONRIC PR & Marketing, HABA, Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Fort Myers.