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Organizations hosting school supply drives ahead of return to school

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 5:59 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Parents are now counting down the days to send their children back to school, including some Gulfport students who will be heading back to school as early as Thursday. Some community organizations are working to make back-to-school preparations a little easier.

Every back-to-school backpack needs paper. That’s just one driving force volunteers packed into more than one hundred backpacks.

“I have a seventh grader, fourth grader, second grader, kindergarten, and childcare,” said Natasha Walker, a mother of five.

Walker sat in a bumper-to-bumper line at Jack and Florence Goldin Park to get free school supplies for all five of her children.

“Oh, this saves me money. I can spend more money on school shoes, clothes, stuff like that,” Walker said.

Jeffrey Hulum III with the nonprofit Extend a Hand Help a Friend said this time of year, he knows many parents are working to make ends meet to get supplies and food.

Shoutout to Jeffrey Hulum III , CEO of Extend a Hand Help a Friend. Hulum’s organization along with other partners and...

Posted by Brandy McGill TV on Wednesday, July 21, 2021

“Thing about is we need to make sure everybody is prepared on day one,” Hulum said.

Preparing the entire community was not a job just for one. City leaders and other organizations helped load cars with boxes of food.

“Literally I’ve walked this entire line that’s lined up right now and I’ve talked with everybody in that line,” said Gulfport Ward 6 Councilman R. Lee Flowers. “It’s grandparents. It’s parents. It’s children of course that are here to get the school supplies. Everybody is appreciative of that.”

Families drove away with fruit, vegetables, canned goods, and other items to make a meal. Hulum said he strives to meet the needs in his community and surrounding areas.

“No matter what income, what walk of life they come from, if there’s a need in the state of Mississippi, we gon’ try to fill that gap,” Hulum said.

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