Summer Pals

Recently, United Way Suncoast distributed disaster kits at Turner Chapel in Palmetto, FL.  United Way Suncoast regularly attends this site as part of the Summer Pals program to give out books to the community in conjunction with the School District of Manatee County’s Summer Break Spot program. A volunteer team from Manatee County Government’s Neighborhood Services department joined us to distribute the kits to the community, and community members were reminded to check the county’s website to see what evacuation zone they live in.


Goodwill provided 8 boxes of early learner (including babies and bilingual) books and some adult/high school books as well. They also provided a voucher for 100 books in July and another 100 books in August to be chosen from their bargain location.

Our Summer Pals sites regularly hand out books, activity worksheets and books, and hold fun activities while children receive free lunches. United Way Suncoast transports books (many of which are donated by Goodwill and individual volunteers) to the sites. Our sites are as follows:

  • Turner Chapel – Around 100-130 books are given out per week.
  • Lincoln Park – Around 200 books a week are given here, serving approximately 50-70 children per week and volunteers read with the children as they eat their lunches.
  • Pine Village Apartments—Special thanks to our lead volunteer here, a Braden River librarian, who holds spirited readings of books that the children have chosen while families eat. We serve approximately 30 children per week.

We’re so grateful to all our community partners and volunteers who make our Summer Pals program as impactful as possible.