A Gift for Teaching: Volunteers help prepare thousands of backpacks for back-to-school event

The Great Big Backpack Build provides 15,000 backpacks

Packing and smiling, more than 100 volunteers came out on Thursday for A Gift for Teaching’s The Great Big Backpack Build event.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Packing and smiling, more than 100 volunteers came out on Thursday for A Gift for Teaching’s The Great Big Backpack Build event.

Volunteers split into teams, grabbed backpacks and began stuffing with them with all sorts of school supplies.

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“It’s all about the kids and I think about how awesome it is for us to be a part of this and all the students that show up on the first day of school and they have everything they need,” said Susan Montanez, a volunteer with Wells Fargo.

Volunteers are preparing 15,000 backs for the A Gift for Teaching event held Thursday and Friday. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

For nearly 25 years, A Gift For Teaching has served and donated supplies for public schools in Orange and Osceola counties.

Board members said more than 70% of public schools in Central Florida are considered high need with many families unable to afford supplies for their kids.

The event is held over two days during which volunteers pack all 15,000 backpacks ahead of August for back to school.

More than 100 volunteers gathered to help fill backpacks at A Gift for Teaching's back-to-school event. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

“It gives students confidence and if they can start there, they can listen, they can experience a classroom, their teachers, their peers and they can really be engaged,” said Traci Ash-Bjella, A Gift For Teaching board member.

Donations are being accepted online at agiftforteaching.org/supplydrive.


About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!