Bags Of Hope - Central Florida
Bags of Hope Central Florida is a 501 (C) 3 Non Profit Charity. We were founded in February of 2009 by Rhonda and Mark Santolin.
This is truly a charity run by people (all of whom are volunteers) and for people. We began this charity by delivering “bags of hope” to many of the thousands of homeless (people and their pets) that live in the woods and streets of Central Florida.
The Homeless Woods Outreach helps not only the many people who are homeless, but also their pets. We offer homeless pets: food, medical attention and spaying/neutering services. After over a year of exposure to that devastation we realized that we needed to do some “prevention” work and the Children’s FEED & READ program was born in August of 2010.
This weekly program delivers food care packages and books to children who are identified by their school as demonstrating daily hunger due to homelessness/displacement or severe poverty. These children are not able to concentrate in class due to this hunger and have a tendency to fall behind and eventually drop out of school- creating a high potential for homelessness, poverty and potential crime among other unfavorable conditions.
After completing its first year, teachers and school staff have reported amazing improvements amongst the students in this program. (97% improvement in Reading Scores, attendance, behavior, and morale improvements and teachers report that the students are focused in class, completing homework and staying on task.) There are so many needs in our world right now.
But right here in our local community we have serious needs that need everyone’s support. You no longer need to travel to another country to find people, families and children in serious need.
Mother Teresa told the thousands that wrote her offering to come and do service in India along her side that they should, “find their own Calcutta”. Well, Bags of Hope Central Florida has done just that! Join us right here locally and TOGETHER we can make a real difference in our community.