They waited eagerly in the heat.
"Actually, the line is out to the street right here. Yeah, we couldn't even get the truck open and they were already here an hour early. It's great," said Linda Oliver, a coordinator for Hope Outreach.
A large crowd of parents, children, and non-profit organizations showed up at WAOY Radio in Gulfport on Thursday morning. They were all hoping to get free school supplies.
Metro Church of God in Birmingham, AL, collected more than 900 book bags and stuffed them with toys, school items, and other surprises. Hope Outreach delivered the goods.
"Spiderman!" a little boy shouted with delight when he received his book bag.
"This is so necessary, because so many people still don't have their homes together," Oliver said. "Many, we found out, are out of jobs. In fact, two have shown up today that their daddies were just laid off. So they don't have money for school supplies."
Misty Potter drove in from Saucier to take advantage of the give-away.
"It's just a big help with school," Potter said. "I have four in school, and one little one, and when it comes to school supplies, it starts adding up."
The Back-to-School Blast looked more like Christmas in July.
"Notebooks! Man! Notebooks momma!" her son exclaimed.
"I got a fire guy!" shouted his little brother.
"They gave them nice, special things they'll remember. And that was really a blessing. Really a blessing. We really appreciate it a lot," Potter said.
"You realize there are only certain things in life that really matter, and giving hope to other people is it," Oliver said.
The give-away was supposed to last from 9 A.M. until 4 P.M. But all the book bags were gone in less than two hours. Anyone interested in volunteering or donating to Hope Outreach can call (615) 604-5111.