City ends backpack giveaways; still other events for supplies

public schools
Firefighters help out at a previous backpack event in Daytona Beach.


School begins on Aug. 12 in Volusia County for public schools. Parents, students, teachers, administrators, faculty and staff all have plenty to do to get ready for the upcoming year. 

For parents who were hoping to get backpacks and school supplies from Daytona Beach’s annual giveaway, they will have to try other sources. 

After a long run, the Mayor’s Backpack Giveaway, which gave away backpacks and school supplies at multiple sites prior to the start of school, is over. 

Mayor’s giveaways end 

Mayor Derrick Henry said the city was competing with other programs and decided to end it. The city had thousands of backpacks with school supplies to pass out each year. 

“We have found that we were competing with many other giveaways in the community. We were only giving out half the backpacks,” he told the Daytona Times this week. “Moreover, with our Daytona Beach Elementary schools earning D grades, I think it is more important that we support literacy hands-on.” 

Henry said he is creating a reading program with schools inside the city limits beginning Aug. 8. 

Police accepting supplies 

Parents who need help getting their kids ready for school can still get help from generous local sources. There are plenty of events scheduled to assist parents with back-pack, school supplies and more. 

However, the Daytona Beach Police Department is accepting donations for its back-to-school supply drive through Aug. 30. 

People can drop off supplies such as pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, binders, crayons, new underwear and socks that are still packaged at police headquarters located at 129 Valor Road Blvd. The police department is accepting donations 24 hours a day. 

For more information, call 386-671-5425 or email 

Aug. 8 bash 

R.A.C.E. (Resource Advocacy for Community Engagement) Foundation will hold its Second Annual BackTo-School Bash & Backpack Giveaway in Derbyshire Plaza, 1252 Eight St., on Aug. 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

The event will include free haircuts (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), free food, backpack giveaways, school uniform giveaways, music, bounce houses and other activities for kids. 

“We have a lot of people calling us and thanking us. There are a lot of single mothers out there with multiple children that can use a little help. Our organization wants to be engaged in the community to see what the community needs and try to address that need,” said Ericka Sipp, president of R.A.C.E. Foundation. 

Register for uniforms 

Sipp said there is a registration required for the free school uniforms. 

“For the uniforms, there is a registration but we are working on getting more uniforms for those who couldn’t register and may need them.” 

Other sponsors include Elite Headliners; Laced Salon & Spa; Dollar Trendz; Ernest McCants, LLC; Mayor Derrick Henry; S.M.A.R.T. Lane, Inc.; and Derbyshire Plaza. 

For more information on the R.A.C.E. Foundation, the event or to register for backpacks and uniforms, contact Sipp at 386-275-9200.

Ballpark bash

Cedrina Cooper, who has three young school-aged children, sees these events as a big help.

“I registered for the one at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. I think the giveaways are important and a big help, especially for those with multiple children,” she said. “There are also a lot of single parents who work hard but most of their money goes towards the bills.”

Payit4wards and the Daytona Tortugas Second Annual Back to School Backpack Bash is on July 27 at Jackie Robinson Ballpark from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Staples, church events 

Staples is hosting its first Back To School Block Party on July 27 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at 2500 W. International Speedway Blvd. There will be giveaways, snacks, discounts and activities. 

Kicks For Kids (K4K) will present its Second Annual Back To School event on Aug. 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at New Birth Worship Center, 724 Seagrave St. Giveaways will include backpacks, school supplies, as well as socks and shoes.

Tax-free holiday 

Florida’s tax-free holiday for school shopping for supplies and clothing is Friday, Aug. 2 through Tuesday, Aug. 6.

Items that will be exempt from sales tax include: 

  • Certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item.
  • Clothing, footwear and certain accessories selling for $60 or less per item.
  • Computers and certain accessories selling for $1,000 or less per item, when purchased for non-commercial or personal use.


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