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Florida Hospital employees donate thousands of backpacks and supplies to students

Florida Hospital’s annual “Backpacks for Kids” campaign is delivering school supplies to children in need just in time for the school year.

Thousands of backpacks and supplies were donated by hospital employees Tuesday, which will be distributed to students in Orange and Seminole counties.

“We are blessed to have the opportunity to collect these items for children whose parents don’t have the means to buy them,” said Kristen Bencomo, a speech and language pathologist at Florida Hospital. “I brought my daughter with me to collect some of these things to teach her that this is a way for us to give back as a family through my work..”

In addition to working with local schools, Florida Hospital is partnering with Hope Now International to make sure Central Florida’s neediest children have much-needed access to school supplies.

"There are families that are making decisions between having food on the table and preparing their kid for the first day of school," said Michael Radka, president and founder of the nonprofit Hope Now International. "What better way to impact a child's life than to make sure that they start their first day of school off with a successful foot forward."

Since launching in 2001, Florida Hospital employees have provided school supplies and backpacks to thousands of local children through the Backpacks for Kids program.

“Caring for our community and our neighbors outside our walls is an integral part of Florida Hospital’s mission,” said Gregory Ellis, assistant vice president for mission and ministry at Florida Hospital. “I love to imagine every one of these backpacks going to children with a message of God’s love and grace.”

For media inquiries only, contact Florida Hospital Corporate Communications at 407-303-8217 or email