MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - More than 1,000 pounds of free school supplies were divided among schools in Jackson County and George County Tuesday. The United Way teamed up with several businesses to collect the items through the Stuff the Bus campaign. The giveaway is just another way communities are uniting to help students make the grade.
Moss Point Schools Superintendent Magee Griffin was all smiles as she filled her shopping bag with free school supplies. "Everything is so beautiful and colorful and you know the children are going to get so excited about that," Dr. Magee Griffin said.
She said the items will definitely help students who don't have the tools they need to learn. "Because of the economy, parents are working so hard, it's so difficult. You have to buy clothing, food, all of those things come into play now and this is a tremendous assistance," Griffin said.
Brooks McKay from the Ocean Springs School District agrees. "It is good to go school supply shopping for free," McKay said.
McKay said district officials already planned how the supplies he picked up will be distributed. "We are going to give them to the counselors, and when the teachers report a need and the counselors will come to them and deliver to them what they need," McKay said.
All of the paper, pencils and book bags were donated through a partnership with United Way of Jackson and George Counties, Walmart, Singing River and Navigator Credit Unions and many other businesses that wanted to invest in education.
"There was a survey that says 91 percent of the teachers spend $300 to $500 a year paying out of their own pockets for school supplies, so we realized teachers need some help with this," United Way CEO Carolyn Moore said.
Eight school systems in Jackson and George Counties walked away with a total of one thousand pounds of supplies Tuesday. Organizers said that is an example of how living united can have a positive impact.
"United Way will always be about the children of Jackson County and George Counties, and what better way to help the students than through this project," United Way board president Richard Lucas said.
The donations distributed Tuesday were collected in July at several locations in Jackson and George Counties.