Meridian, Miss. Volunteers from Mississippi Power and Southern Pipe and Supply took truckload after truckload of school supplies and uniforms collected at Stuff the Bus to every elementary school in Meridian and Lauderdale County Monday morning. Supplies were sorted by school, and the amount each school received was based on the need at each individual school. Sara Odom with the United Way says this was their third, and biggest year ever.
"We actually more than doubled the collections from last year. We collected about $50,000 worth of school supplies, uniforms, and monetary gifts altogether, so we've been able to make a really big dent this year."
Now that the supplies are at the schools, teachers and principals have a stockpile to choose from, and can provide their students with whatever they may need.
"Each school can use it at their own discretion. Most of them choose to have a closet for the uniforms and supplies, so when the children come that don't have the correct things that they need, the teachers and the principal are able to go straight to the closet at their school and get what they need.
One of the schools on the distribution list is Meridian's Parkview Elementary. The principal there, Rosalind Operton, says it's both a relief and a blessing knowing that all of her students are going to have school supplies and uniforms when the school year starts no matter their circumstance.
"It's just another step in the direction of schools, community, and parents all working together for the good of our children, because we want them college and career ready, and they have to have those supplies in order to be ready."