United Way and Walmart team up to give kids school supplies

United Way and Walmart team up to give kids school supplies
Walmart employees make an initial donation to the United Way's Fill the Bus campaign for school supplies at the Biloxi Super Walmart. (Photo source: WLOX) (Source: John Fitzhugh)

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Not all families can afford the school supplies their children need to be successful in school. That’s why the United Way teamed up with Walmart again with the Fill the Bus program to help provide supplies for those students, so they can start the school year off right.

You can find bins at all the super Walmarts in Harrison County, as well as in Picayune and Wiggins. Supplies gathered at each store will go to schools in that market.

Teachers see how students’ self esteem is affected when they can’t afford the supplies they need.

“When we can provide them with the supplies they are missing or that they weren’t able to purchase, it really alleviates that insecurity for them,” said Rachel Gillenwater, a fifth-grade teacher at Bayou View Elementary in Gulfport. “It gets them off on the right foot to have a really good year.”

Leanna Saucier, director of resource development for United Way of South Mississippi, said donations have increased from 10,000 pieces of school supplies in 2017 to 17,000 in 2018.

The collection program continues through July 26 when volunteers will be at the stores for the last few days to encourage donations.

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