Program Expands This Year to Include Foster and Homeless Children

            PHOENIX, Ariz. (June 18, 2018): The Back to School Clothing Drive, Arizona’s largest provider of uniforms, clothing, backpacks and school supplies to more than 25,000 Title I elementary-school students at over 260 Maricopa County schools, is gearing up for the 2018 event, July 23-27 at Grand Canyon University Arena, 3300 W. Camelback Road in Phoenix.  

            Among sponsors already committed to the event are BHHS Legacy Foundation, Bank of America, Arizona’s Family 3TV and CBS5, Discover, Grand Canyon University, and Fiesta Bowl Charities.  Additional sponsorship opportunities are available by visiting or by calling (602) 256-9408.  Sponsorship packages range from $1000 to $25,000 and include benefits based on sponsorship level.

More than 5,000 K-6 pre-registered students attend the annual week-long New Clothes, New Beginnings event.  Back to School Clothing Drive has expanded its outreach and impact this year through collaborations with organizations serving children in foster care and homeless children including Arizona Helping Hands, Arizona Friends of Foster Families and Children First Academy.


All students are pre-selected, pre-registered by their schools and bussed to Grand Canyon University Arena, which is transformed into a large “department store”. Each student is assigned a personal shopper to help select a new wardrobe including two pairs of shorts, two polo shirts, a sweatshirt, one belt, three pairs of socks and underwear, one pair of sneakers, a backpack filled with school supplies, hand-made items sewn by a Stitches-of-Love volunteer, dozens of school supplies and personal hygiene items.

            Each child takes home approximately $350 worth of merchandise, at no cost to them, totaling $1.8 million by the end of the week.

            “We believe the impact we make is just the beginning,” said Executive Director Karl Gentles.  “Our ambition is to move beyond just school uniforms and supplies to help break down those systemic barriers students face in their pathway to early school and childhood success.”



            Founded in 1967, Back to School Clothing Drive distributes items through its signature programs, the “New Clothes, New Beginnings” clothing distribution and Student Attire for Education (SAFE), with support from more than 2,500 volunteers to children whose families are at or below the Federal poverty level, approximately $30,000 annual income for a family of four.

            “For five decades, Back to School Clothing Drive has helped break down barriers to early childhood success for students from kindergarten through sixth grade who desperately need new school uniforms and outfits, backpacks and school supplies,” Gentles said.  “Our products may be school uniforms and supplies, but we deliver self esteem, self confidence and a successful start to school for thousands of students.”

For more information about Back to School Clothing Drive, visit, email Gentles at [email protected] call (602) 256-9408.


Contact: Steve Carr, The Kur Carr Group, Inc., (602) 317-3040

About Back to School Clothing Drive

Founded in 1967, Back to School Clothing Drive is Arizona’s largest provider of new school outfits, uniforms, backpacks and school supplies to children in need. Back-to-School Clothing Drive ( new school outfits and uniforms, backpacks and school supplies to more than 25,000 K-6 students at more than 260 schools in 40 Maricopa County school districts. Back to School Clothing Drive operates on an annual budget of approximately $1 million with three employees, a 15-member volunteer board of directors and more than 2,500 volunteers. For more information, visit