This year’s Back to School with BEAM event was held on Saturday, August 5th at Beach Church (325 7th Ave. N., Jacksonville Beach). BEAM welcomed several hundred families and served almost 1,000 children, ages pre-school through high school, who are residents in the communities of Mayport, Atlantic, Neptune, Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Beaches. Back to School with BEAM is one of the organizations many annual events that help low-income families.
This was the 24th year that BEAM has provided children with much-needed necessities including new backpacks and grade-appropriate school supplies, new underwear, a voucher for a new pair of shoes, and an opportunity to “shop for free” for new and gently used clothing. One parent who came to the event commented, “Back to School with BEAM helped provide us with things we needed and we don’t spend as much money and we can save up. The best part was the help from all the volunteers.” Volunteer, Carolyn Seymour, who helped at the backpack station said, “The community support never ceases to amaze me. It never gets old watching the excitement on the faces on the children when they select their backpack.”
This event is truly a community event and it is only people thanks to the amazing people right here in our community. Partners for this year’s event included: Beach Church, Beaches Community Fund, Beaches Resource Center, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Community Presbyterian Church, Deerwood Rotary, The Exchange Club, First Christian Church of the Beaches, JAX Chamber Beaches Division, Malik’s Gifts, Oceanside Rotary, READ USA, Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach and Target (Jacksonville Beach).