Kissimmee, FL. — A global pandemic isn’t stopping Florida Technical College (FTC) from providing essential supplies and resources students need to succeed in the classroom, even if it is a virtual one.
Florida Technical College will be donating more than 2,500 free backpacks filled with school supplies to be distributed by The Salvation Army, Commissioner Peggy Choudhry, Project Life, NAACP Lakeland Volusia County Council Spring Hill Resource Center, Take Stock in Children, Backpacks for Hope and Kids Pack throughout the Sunshine State.
For the Kissimmee outreach event, to be held on Saturday, August 8th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at The Salvation Army Osceola Christian Ministry Center, FTC joins forces with District 1 Osceola County Commissioner Peggy Choudhry and The Salvation Army. Over 1,000 local students will benefit from this collaborative effort.
“At FTC, our mission remains the same,” said Dr. James Michael Burkett, president of Florida Technical College “to make sure students return to school with the tools they need to start the school year off confident and prepared. While it’s unclear what school will look like for students this fall, we still want to provide them some sense of normalcy.”
“COVID-19 has changed our day to day living, but our commitment to supporting students and families prepare for academic success is unwavering,” added Commissioner Peggy Choudhry. “The event will be a drive-thru, and social distancing and mask-wearing are required. This will ensure safety for our participants, sponsors, and volunteers as we follow state and federal CDC guidelines.”
Since 2011, the FTC Back to School event has been providing free school supplies, medical check-ups, and haircuts to nearly 7,000 Florida students across 20 schools every year. However, due to COVID-19, the institution is unable to offer any in-person activities.
“We have been very fortunate to receive the support of our community partners,” Dr. Burkett said. “As a result of their generosity, thousands of kids will have the supplies they need to start the school year off right. This initiative is designed to help alleviate some of the financial burdens for those families affected by COVID-19. We don’t want them to worry about buying a new backpack in the middle of a pandemic.”
Thanks to The Salvation Army and the Osceola Christian Ministry Center, the event will be drive-thru only with limited interaction to help stem the possible spread of the virus. “Now, more than ever, the community needs support, and The Salvation Army is proud to stand with these partners to bring relief to those who are in need,” said Captain Ken Chapman, area commander of The Salvation Army in Orange & Osceola Counties.” These supplies will give them a better chance of success.”
Participants are encouraged to remain in their cars while volunteers place the backpacks in the vehicle’s trunk. Supplies will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Salvation Army is hoping for more school supply donations to help additional families. Donations can be drop off at The Salvation Army in Orlando (416 W. Colonial Drive) and The Salvation Army in Osceola (700 Union Street) starting August 3rd. For location hours visit, www.salvationarmyorlando.org and www.salvationarmyosceola.org.
Supporters of the Back to School event include FOX35 ORLANDO, Walmart, Embrace Celebration, and Staples of Winter Garden.
Founded in 1982 to provide private, post-secondary education in specialized fields, Florida Technical College is an academic unit of NUC University (NUC). NUC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. (267-284-5000) www.msche.org. The MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). FTC offers diploma, associate and bachelor’s degree programs in a range of professions, including Healthcare, Construction Trades, Hospitality, Beauty, Information Technology and Business. FTC campuses are located in Orlando, Kissimmee, Lakeland, DeLand, Pembroke Pines, Cutler Bay and Tampa. Program availability varies by campus.
About Commissioner Peggy Choudhry
Known as “The People’s Commissioner” in Osceola County, District 1 Commissioner Choudhry works tirelessly daily to promote the general welfare for all citizens. She was elected to the Commission on November 2016. Prior to being elected, she worked with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and successfully owned and managed a small hotel on U.S.192. Commissioner Choudhry is an active board member in many organizations, including: Experience Kissimmee, Osceola Historical Society, Hispanic Business Council, Osceola Resort Area Council, Community Hope Center, and the U.S. 192 Hotel Motel Association. She also volunteers for non-profit organizations across Osceola County and continues to give countless hours of community service.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Facebook at The Salvation Army – Orlando Area Command.