KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Hundreds of Central Florida students were thrilled to be getting free backpacks and school supplies in Kissimmee on Saturday morning.
“I think it's awesome,” said Lisa O'Brien, who lined up in her car for the free school supplies.
“Especially during today's times,” agreed Octaviano Rios. It's actually very helpful.”
FOX 35 teamed up with the Orange & Osceola Salvation Army, Osceola County Commissioner Peggy Choudhry, Florida Technical College, Walmart, Embrace Celebration and Staples on the back-to-school giveaway.
“We've got, of course, the notebooks, the folders, pens and pencils, some surprise snacks in there as well. Of course, we have awesome binders and things like that,” Choudhry said. “All the things we just know that the kids are going to need.”
It was totally contactless delivery.
Capt. Ken Chapman, from the Salvation Army of Orange & Osceola, said the backpacks were going to be useful for students, whether they were taking classes at home or at school.
“This is good for virtual learning as well as in-school learning, and it's all the things they need to get started on the first day of school," Capt. Chapman said. "It should last them several weeks or months, and we're excited that community partners have come together to make it happen.”
People waiting for supplies said this had been a back-to-school season like they'd never seen.
“My son lost his job because of COVID. I was in New York for a couple of months taking care of my parents. I ended up leaving these guys here. It's hard,” O’Brien said.
Elsa Rivas, a furloughed Disney worker who was waiting in line, said these supplies would help a lot.
“It helps a lot because I have four [children] and every backpack will be about $100-$125. With all the stuff they ask us to. That's going to help me. It's like $400 to me and I'm furloughed right now, so it's going to be very, very helpful.”