GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Teachers took center stage at Central Elementary School in Gulfport Thursday afternoon. Members of Pass Road Baptist Church donated thousands of school supplies to the school.
The teachers had no clue that after their classes wrapped up all the supplies would be given to them.
The church's pastor says answering the needs of the teachers helps church members follow God's word of giving rather than receiving. Members of Pass Road Baptist Church set up a mini-school supply warehouse in the library at Central Elementary.
Lead Pastor Tom Mims says his church has been collecting these items for about a month.
"This is our way of following Christ. And saying we want to give also and we want you to know that we care about you. And we love you and we thank you," said Lead Pastor Tom Mims.
"So we have tons and tons of school supplies for ya'll today," said Associate Pastor Jarrod Rushing as the teachers waited outside the doors of the library.
With that teachers entered the library and began stocking up on items for their classrooms. Church members say they know how difficult it can be for teachers to get a hold of everything they need for the year.
"I grew up as a teacher's kid. I'm married to a teacher. So the struggle is real. In the church you always talk about loving people and praying for people, but it's totally different to actually get out of the walls of the church and meet the needs," said Rushing.
Teachers were also given gift cards to purchase additional school supplies. The shock and excitement of this day also came with relief for the teachers.
"I do pick up things here and there and so it takes a little bit of the financial burden off of myself and off of our parents," said Second Grade Teacher Alison Perkins.
"I've already spent over $100 on supplies just to get started. So having these kinds of things is so exciting," said Counselor Amanda Desnoyers.
Pastor Mims says everyone benefits from these donations. His members get the joy of giving and the school gets the joy of receiving. Church members say it's important for everyone to realize giving isn't something you should wait until the holidays to do because they say there are needs throughout the year.