Skip to main content

2,000 children will receive backpacks, school supplies, and groceries

FORT MYERS, Fla. (July 13, 2023) – The start of the 2023-24 school year is less than a month away and many families are struggling to ensure their children have what they need to begin the year with the proper supplies. That’s why the Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida will be hosting the 24th Annual BIG Backpack Event on Sunday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fort Myers Skatium located at 2250 Broadway.

For over two decades the BIG Backpack Event has been a staple event in Southwest Florida and is needed now more than ever as families continue to recover from last year’s devastating hurricane. Hoping to relieve some of the burden volunteers will be on hand to give out backpacks, school supplies and groceries to the first 2,000 students ages 5 to 12 as they drive-thru curbside with their families.

Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson is the 2023 Honorary Event Chair. Leonardo Garcia, the founder of the Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida, will serve as event Co-Chair alongside Yadiris Perez-Luna. More than 200 volunteers are needed to stuff backpacks and grocery bags on Saturday, July 29 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the day of the event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers are asked to sign up online at

The event is made possible thanks to the generosity of corporate and individual sponsors and donations. Neal Communities has once again stepped up to be the presenting sponsor. Other sponsors include: the City of Fort Myers, CONRIC pr + marketing, FLY 98.5, HABA, Latino 97.7, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Lee County School District, Macaroni KID, Maxima 97.3/95.7 and Midwest Foods. 

“We are happy to continue to be a presenting sponsor of the annual BIG Backpack Event and be part of an initiative that helps thousands of local school children in Lee County,” said Tim Oak, south region president for Neal Communities. “Our employees and trade partners make a strong effort to collect donations and volunteer their time to stuff backpacks and distribute school supplies. It’s a team event for us, and we look forward to this event every year.”

“After what Southwest Florida has gone through with Ian, every bit of support is needed,” said Perez-Luna. “We want to make sure the children and their families have what they need to start the school year off right.”

The BIG Backpack Event will provide much needed relief, supplying children with new backpacks filled with pencils, pens, paper, crayons, folders and other essential back-to-school items as well as coupons and other giveaways.

For more information about the event, sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, visit or email

Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida

The Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida is a private 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization that promotes programs aimed at bringing people of different cultures together. The organization aims to culturally link Southwest Florida with other communities around the world. Since 1999, the organization, co-founded by Leonardo Garcia, has hosted The BIG Backpack Event providing support, backpacks and school supplies for families in need. For more information, visit

‹‹ Previous Post
FGCU Board of Trustees to meet virtually in executive session July 17
All Posts Next Post ››
Goodwill hosts inaugural fashion and talent show fundraiser