ORLANDO, Fla. - FOX 35 anchors were honored to help make the upcoming school year a little brighter for families in need, volunteering to fill backpacks with much-needed school supplies.
The supplies are needed now more than ever, as coronavirus and unemployment leave many families struggling.
The Salvation Army's Marjorie Pierre explained that "The economy is suffering, families are suffering and when you look at the lower-income families, they're struggling even more."
Pierre added that whether kids are learning from home or online this year, preparation is a major key to success, claiming that "we're just trying to get the kids prepared for whatever, whether it's virtual or in-class learning, kids still have to prepare and that's the goal."
The Salvation Army is partnering with several organizations for this back to school event, including Walmart, the Orlando Magic, and Florida Technical College -- the last of which has been doing this for almost a decade.
The Florida Technical College President, Dr. James Burkett, told FOX 35 that COVID-19 won't stop this statewide initiative that's happening all the way from Dade County up to Jacksonville. He said that "the distribution is a little trickier this year due to COVID and so to partner with organizations that share a similar vision and mission too, helps to amplify outreach and we're able to help them serve more families."
Frederic Pete, a Florida Technical College student, has volunteered for this initiative for years and says it warms his heart. He said that "honestly, the last few times the smiles on the kid's faces is just everything. And sometimes when you don't have anything and the simplest thing is a pencil and paper... why not come back?"
Donations are being accepted between August 3rd and 7th at the following Salvation Army locations during business hours:
- The Salvation Army Orlando: 416 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32804
- The Salvation Army Osceola Christian Ministry Center: 700 Union Street, Kissimmee, FL 34741
If you would rather, you can make a monetary donation to the campaign here.
All donations and contributions will give students in Central Florida a solid start as they head back to school, whether at home or in the classroom.
Here's a list of items students need the most:
- Hand Sanitizer
Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the rest of the FOX 35 Classroom Survival Guide as schools prepare to reopen.