Polk State Start Right supply giveaway to prepare K-12, college students for the school year

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

The Polk State College Foundation and Polk State JD Alexander Center will host the second annual Start Right Campaign event Saturday, July 28, at 9 a.m. in Lake Wales at 152 E. Central Ave., where students from kindergarten through college will each be eligible to receive a free backpack stuffed with school supplies.

The event will also include food, music, and free haircuts provided by Gifted Cuts and Faded Fresh barbershops for students between the ages of 5 and 14.

Donations and supplies are needed, and can be provided by visiting foundation.polk.edu/startright or by delivering items to the Polk State JD Alexander Center by Monday, July 23.

The College launched the Start Right Campaign last year to help Lake Wales families provide school supplies to their students and to thank the Polk County community for its support of the Polk State JD Alexander Center.

“Many families struggle to provide their children with the school supplies they need. We want to lift that burden for parents and ensure that their students are prepared for a successful school year,” Polk State JD Alexander Center Director Andy Oguntola said. “We also want to give back to the community to say thank you for the continued support we receive from the residents of Polk County. We are grateful to be an integral part of this community, and we are proud to serve Lake Wales.”

The campaign plans to hand out 500 backpacks filled with supplies such as pencils, pens, notebooks, and paper, as well as a note of encouragement written by a Polk State student. One backpack per student will be available while supplies last.

Oguntola expressed sincere gratitude to the many donors, volunteers, and colleagues who have committed to ensuring the event is a success, including the Lake Wales Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee, Walmart, Duke Energy, CenterState Bank, The Story Companies, GST: The Family Church, and Wayne T. Fellows, Inc.

“Every contribution plays an important role in transforming lives through the power of philanthropy,” said Tracy Porter, Executive Director of the Polk State College Foundation. “Together, we are ensuring that students of all ages are ready for a successful school year.”

“Great beginnings lead to great futures,” she added, “allowing our community to soar.”