Keesler Federal provides backpacks, school supplies to kindergarteners

Keesler Federal Credit Union is working to ease the strain on thousands of families across the coast as the new school year approaches.
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 5:01 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Keesler Federal Credit Union is working to ease the strain on thousands of families across the coast as the new school year approaches.

The financial group provided about 6,800 boxes of bookbags and school supplies for kindergarteners on Wednesday.

16 school districts from Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone and George counties picked up their packages from the Coast Coliseum.

“We love our schools and our members,” Carol Lucas with Keesler Federal said as she packed boxes into a bus. “And these days in times, our communities need us.”

Public Relations Administrator Joan Seals returned to the Hancock County School District with about 365 boxes.

“Our families appreciate it so very much,” she told WLOX. “When the kids get them in their hands and they open them, it’s, like I said, like Christmas to them.”

This year, Keesler Federal is expanding its reach to include Jackson and Hattiesburg, as well as Jefferson Parish schools in Louisiana. That more than doubles its distribution.

“We’ve seen that this event is successful, and it’s needed in a lot of different areas, especially with the times that we’re in and the economy that we’re in,” Financial Education Specialist Anthony Abella said. “It’s remarkable because it’s not just backpacks and school supplies, it’s students that are impacted, and that will hopefully help them in their learning, you know, education career.”

From markers and scissors to glue and folders, President and CEO Andy Swoger said the items included in the backpacks are based on their team’s surveys.

“It’s all about giving back to our local community,” he said. “All of these kids are going to school, their first day of school, they’ve got the exact same thing. No one has something better or worse or what not. So, they’re all starting out on equal ground.”

About 40 employees pitched in to move the care packages.

Now, it is up to the school districts to determine when they will distribute the supplies to students.

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