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Nonprofit taking extra steps to prevent school charity double-dipping

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CENTRAL FLORIDA - Thousands of families across central Florida are getting ready to head back to school.

This year, a local nonprofit group is taking extra steps to make sure people don't take advantage of your charity.

WFTV reporter Bianca Castro took a look at a new database that keeps track of who gets what at supply drives.

"We are still in need of backpacks, jumpdrives, binders," said Jennifer Taylor, director of client services at the Sharing Center in Longwood.

About 700 families have signed up for a school supply giveaway this weekend.

"We want to make sure everyone in the community has the opportunity to get the services that they need," said Taylor.

But this year, the nonprofit organization is making sure families who get the supplies truly need them. That way, families can't double dip by getting supplies at other events.

Each family is being registered in an online database that can be accessed by other nonprofit organizations in the area.

"This way we are able to provide services hopefully for all of those that are in need and not duplicate services for those that might not necessarily need two backpacks or three jump drives," said Taylor.

Tracking who gets the school supplies is part of a pilot program tied only to that particular school supply drive, but if it's successful, the hope is it can be expanded.

The database has the capability to keep track of who gets other assistance, like rent or utilities, and from where.

The Longwood Police Department made a hefty contribution, and said it's happy someone is policing charity.

"We are encouraged that there is a database out there that is keeping track of where these donations are coming from," said Kevin Tuck of the Longwood Police Department.

The Sharing Center is still accepting donations for this weekend's supply drive.