Volunteers stuff backpacks for Orlando students in need

After-School All Stars program provides school supplies

ORLANDO, Fla. – Dozens of volunteers gathered on Wednesday at "A Gift for Teaching" to help fill up book bags for hundreds of homeless students.

Natalia Perez, 14, was one of the volunteers helping and is part of the After-School All Stars program. 

"I'm glad that I'm here, able to represent, and that they trust me with all of this," Perez said.

The program ensures access to food for homeless children during the summer and provides school supplies just in time for the start of the new school year. 

Perez said she's been receiving free school supplies since middle school because of the program and now wants to give back to the community. 

"I've been through a lot of stuff and After School All Stars came up to me and asked if I wanted to share my story," Perez explained.

More than 13,000 students in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties are homeless and don't have back-to-school supplies.

"We want to make sure every student, regardless of their family income, goes to school and has the things they need to be successful," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said. 

The backpacks will be distributed to five different Orange County Public Schools and to the Boys & Girls Club in downtown Orlando.

About the Author: