Children at Reeves Terrace smiled as they received backpacks full of school supplies ahead of the 2019 school year on Aug. 6.
It was the 15th year in a row that the kids at Reeves Terrace, a low-income housing community, started the school year with new backpacks. Carroll Adams Group, a hotel-procurement company in Downtown Orlando, has sponsored the event since its inception. Ted Carroll, the president of Carroll Adams, has attended the event each year and said he’s seen kids come and receive a backpack before each school year from first to eighth grade.
“I’ve been here each year for 15 years doing this with [City] Commissioner [Patty] Sheehan,” Carroll said. “It all started when I ran into her out at a restaurant, and I asked her, ‘What can I do? I wanna get a little more involved in the community.’”
Reeves Terrace is in Commissioner Sheehan’s district, and she said 86 backpacks were given to kids at Reeves Terrace this year. The backpacks were stuffed with every item that the Orange County Public Schools recommends for each grade.
“A lot of our kids, their parents are the working poor, and they’re working a lot of jobs,” Sheehan said. “We can actually put together a backpack full of supplies by buying in bulk for about $11, and that’s a lot cheaper than anybody can even buy a backpack.”
After backpack pick-up, kids and parents went outside for a scoop of ice cream. Lisa Walker was with her 12-year-old daughter and has come to the backpack giveaway for five years.
“This is a big help. That extra material that she needs for her class,” Walker said. “[My daughter] loves it.”