BEAM to celebrate 25th anniversary of Back to School event, asks community for clothing donations


The Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry, or BEAM, is holding its 25th annual Back to School with BEAM event Saturday, Aug. 4 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Beach Church Campus located at 325 7th Ave. North in Jacksonville Beach.

“BEAM’s mission is to help families become financially stable,” BEAM Executive Director Lori Richards said. “Our role is to channel the amazing generosity in our Beaches communities and the desire so many have to help our neighbors. Back to School is an incredible vehicle for us to come together as a community and help our children have an exciting start to their school year.”

BEAM continues to rely on individuals and groups to donate gently used clothing, underwear and shoes. Donations are being accepted at the 7 North BEAM thrift shop at 318 3rd St. at the corner of 7th Ave. North in the donation area behind the building. BEAM hopes to have all the items needed by July 26.

As the event has grown, BEAM has found that it was more efficient to purchase the backpacks and school supplies in bulk with donations.

Event sponsors include Mary Carter Financial Services and the Deerwood and Ponte Vedra Rotary Clubs, Beach Church, dozens of individuals, civic groups and faith community groups. BEAM will share scholastic books thanks to a partnership with the Beaches Community Fund.

 “From the Exchange Club who will come to cook hotdogs, to the Kiwanis Club who organizes the cleanup, to the BEAM volunteers who have come out for years to hang up all the clothes, the people who help put this event together come from across all the beaches communities,” Richards said. “It’s a very diverse group who want all our kids to have a great start to the school year. It’s amazing.”

To donate or to volunteer to help set up on Thursday and Friday, or to assist on the day of the event Saturday, sign up at or contact Kathy Maloney at (904) 241-7437 for more information.