Circle of Love Foundation hoping to fill 550 backpacks

Smithville ­– The Circle of Love Foundation hopes to help provide school supplies for children in need this summer. 

With school starting in DeKalb County August 3, the “Backpacks for Success” program looks to provide local children 550 backpacks, an increase of 50 from 2022, with the needed supplies. The campaign focuses only on school supplies. 

“The Circle of Love Foundation is preparing to make the 2023 school year a success for children in area shelters and others in need,” they said in a release. “The nonprofit launched its “Backpacks for Success” campaign today to help children in need become a success in the classroom and beyond.”

In 2022, The National Retail Federation said families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $864 on school supplies, $168 more than in 2019. The 2022 price averages include school supplies ($139.56), shoes ($168.11), clothing and accessories excluding shoes ($263.63), and electronics or computer-related equipment ($293.05). 

Averages for 2023 are expected to be even higher. 

A survey showed back-to-school costs in Smithville and surrounding areas ranged from $127 for a middle schooler to $142 for elementary students, and $127 for high school students.

“These will go to children in area shelters and others in need,” according to the release. 

Doris Phillips, President of RealSource Title Insurance and Real Estate Closings and COO of Lake Homes Realty, founded the Circle of Love Foundation. She grew up in poverty outside of Birmingham, Alabama and, as a single mom at 16, worked multiple jobs to feed her child.

“Education was not an option,” according to the release. “Fast-forward years later, Doris learned from the school of hard knocks and worked hard to become a professional success in real estate and title insurance.” 

She wants children to “believe their ideas are real possibilities.”

“Doris founded the foundation to provide children in need with school supplies to be successful,” according to the release. “Doris knows the deep pain of being forgotten and going to school without the basic items needed for success. She is committed to prevent it from happening to other children. To help reach this goal, Regions Bank is a sponsor of this year’s backpacks campaign.” 

The Circle of Love Foundation has helped over 9,000 children in several shelters and facilities who would have otherwise gone without basic school supplies or opening gifts on Christmas morning. 

“Every penny given is a penny donated,” said Phillips. 

For more information and donation options, visit All money collected and school supplies donated are used for children in need throughout Tennessee, Alabama and Virginia.

Image by kstudio on Freepik.

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