JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Thanks to community support, children in Jackson and George Counties will have more than enough school supplies for the new school year. The United Way Stuff the Bus campaign kicked off June 15. As the event wraps up, school supplies are still piling up at drop off locations across the counties.
Pencils, notebooks, folders and even Kleenex are just a few of the many items that have been donated for this year's campaign.
"Teachers usually spend $400 to $500 out of their own money for school supplies, so we decided we wanted to join in to help the teachers as well as the students who are in need of school supplies," Chief Executive Officer of United Way for Jackson and George Counties Carolyn Moore said.
"Of course, coming off summer months as much as you can with your kids, sometimes you come up a little short when it comes to school supplies. So, this is a great resource to help people get over that hump and get school started on a good note," said Brooks McKay, with the Ocean Springs School District.
Here's how it works: Shoppers find a school, a supply list and then they can start shopping. In order to get the donation boxes full, supply shelves must stay stocked 24/7.
"It is a challenge, but we do have a lot of experienced associates here, and everyone is very helpful in making sure that we get all the stuff on the shelf," Ocean Springs Walmart manager Stacie Sutton said.
As soon as the boxes are full, organizers can begin to Stuff the Bus, so the supplies can be distributed to area elementary schools.
"We've gotten a great response from everyone. The community came in together and the sum of all of us together is so much greater than our individual parts. We have a lot of supplies to give, and we're excited," Moore said.
If you haven't gotten a chance to donate to this year's campaign, you still have time. The drive runs through July 1, and you can drop off supplies at any Walmart location in Jackson or George Counties.