Gov. Doug Ducey will join the 3,000 volunteers helping children pick out new clothes and classroom supplies at the 21st Annual Back to School Clothing Drive New Clothes, New Beginnings summer distribution. The event takes place July 13–16 beginning at 7:45 a.m. daily at Grand Canyon University Arena. The governor will be shopping with Valley elementary school children from 9–10 a.m. on July 15.

More than 5,500 pre-registered elementary school children from 140 schools in 40 districts will participate in New Clothes, New Beginnings. Each child will receive school uniforms, outfits, shoes, backpacks and school supplies valued at $300. The effort aims to restore the confidence and academic focus of children from families struggling through harsh economic realities.

Ducey to help children at Back to School Clothing Drive at GCU BacktoSchoolClothingDrive

Back to School Clothing Drive. (Source: CBS 5 AZ News KPHO)

Back to School Clothing Drive anticipates more than $2 million in clothing and school supplies will go to underprivileged children by the end of the event.

The floor of GCU Arena will be set up like a massive store with various “departments,” where Gov. Ducey plans to join volunteers helping children to shop independently and pick items that suit them for the school year ahead.

“We’re excited to have the governor shopping at the event and we look forward to a great experience that the kids, volunteers and governor will remember for many years to come,” said Karl Gentles, executive director of Back to School Clothing Drive.

New Clothes, New Beginnings is a partnership between BTSCD and the BHHS Legacy Foundation Backpack Buddies Program. Additional financial and in-kind support comes from Bank of AmericaCity of Phoenix CDBGCBS 5 AZ, Grand Canyon University, SanDisk FoundationUPSIntel and others. The BHHS Legacy Foundation partnership sends 7,000 additional filled backpacks to students in northern Arizona and local social service agencies.

Grand Canyon University is hosting New Clothes, New Beginnings for the third year at its west Phoenix campus, located at 3300 W. Camelback Road, which will be home to 14,500 university students come August.

In addition to its work with BTSCD, GCU’s support for K-12 academics is reflected in its free afterschool Learning Lounge, tuition-free STEM Scholars program, employee-driven Canyon Donation to Education program and other efforts to provide resources to prepare young people for college. The BTSCD event provides youths with a taste of the atmosphere of a campus where academics and community involvement go hand-in-hand.

“Through spirited volunteerism and support of leaders like Gov. Ducey, this event has a great impact on children who would otherwise miss the comfort of new clothes for their academic journey,” said Brian Mueller, Grand Canyon University president and CEO.

Schedule for the Week

Note: All children and volunteers have media/photo clearance. Some photography restrictions may apply on Thursday, July 16.

7:45 a.m.–4 p.m.
Monday, July 13
EXCLUSIVE MEDIA DAY to Media Partner and sponsor CBS 5 AZ. School districts scheduled: Buckeye, Alhambra, Arlington, Fowler, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Glendale
7:45 a.m.–4 p.m.
Tuesday, July 14
OPEN MEDIA DAY. Districts: Creighton, Chandler,Academy of Excellence, Wilson, Madison, Cartwright, Palo Verde, Laveen, Balsz, Imagine Schools, Osborn, Washington. The Day is sponsored by BHHS Legacy Foundation.
7:45 a.m.–3 p.m.
Wednesday, July 15
6–9 p.m.
Wednesday, July 15
OPEN MEDIA DAY – Gov. Doug Ducey visits from 9– 10 a.m. Districts: Roosevelt, Issac, Pendergast, Deer Valley, Tolleson, Avondale, Murphy. The day is sponsored by Bank of America.Unlocking the Future Fundraising Gala (Arena) benefitting Back to School Clothing Drive
7:45 a.m.–noon
Thursday, July 16
OPEN MEDIA DAY (some photography restrictions apply). Scheduled: Community partner organizations


For more information, please contact Karl Gentles with Back to School Clothing Drive at (602) 920-1808, Michael Ferraresi with Grand Canyon University at (602) 639-7030 or Annie Dockendorff with the Governor’s Office at (602) 542-7029.

About Back to School Clothing Drive: Founded in 1967, Back to School Clothing Drive provides new school outfits and uniforms, backpacks and school supplies to children in need. BTSCD helps break down these barriers to early childhood school and education through its three signature programs: The New Clothes New Beginnings Annual Distribution; Student Attire for Education (SAFE); and Stitches of Love. The organization helps more than 25,000 Title I public elementary school children attending 260+ schools in 40 school districts throughout the Valley and Northern Arizona through its partnership with the BHHS Legacy Foundation Backpack Buddies program. For more information about BTSCD, visit

About Grand Canyon University: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is Arizona’s premier private Christian university. GCU is regionally accredited and emphasizes individual attention for both traditional undergraduate students and the working professional. GCU offers traditional programs on its growing campus, as well as online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.  The University’s curriculum fuses academic and clinical rigor with Christian values to prepare its students to be skilled, caring professionals. For more information about GCU, visit