Many hands make light work as volunteers act as the driving force behind its Back to School outreach.

The cost of school supplies adds up—especially for those who are struggling to the pay the bills. As a way to ease the burden, Operation Restoring Hope, Inc. is putting on a Back to School Bash that provides free backpacks and school supplies.

The free event is open to the public and will take place on Saturday, July 28 from 9 a.m.-12 Noon at The City of Restoration Church, located at 2802 State Rd. 60 East in Valrico.

To ensure sufficient school supplies, registration is required at, and children must be present to receive their backpack. In addition to school supply giveaways, the event will feature food, games and bounce houses.

“We can’t wait to host this year’s Back to School Event once again,” said Carol Poole, the vice president of Operations to Operation Restoring Hope, Inc. “With almost eight years of hosting this event in the Brandon/Valrico Area, we are ready to serve about 400 students this year.”

Operation Restoring Hope, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization and a community outreach of The City of Restoration Church. Its mission is to provide immediate relief along with continued support through community resources and referrals to individuals and families in the Greater Brandon area.

The organization works together with individuals and families to educate and equip through various outreaches like its annual Back to School Bash, life skills workshops and job skill training. Operation Restoring Hope, Inc. is asking everyone to help spread the word about the Back to School Bash.

Poole also commented on the outreach’s humble beginning and said, “We started with the mere intent to aid families with just a few basic supplies, and over the years we’ve been able to provide much more than educational items, but needed services and access to resources as well. Much appreciation to the many partnerships with local community organizations and business.”

For information, visit, call 657-9400 or email The City of Restoration Church is a nondenominational, multicultural church in Valrico.

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Amanda Boston is the Christian Voice Editor for the Osprey Observer. She is a graduate of Bible Training for Church Leaders (BTCL), who enjoys sharing how God is working in and through the community. Amanda resides in FishHawk with her husband and two children.