Meridian, Miss. Even though it's summer break for most school kids, a school bus was parked in Downtown Meridian Tuesday, but not for transportation. This one was used by the United Way of East Mississippi to collect school supply and uniform donations for the upcoming school year that is only just about a month away. United Way Summer Intern Anna Alexander says they will distribute the donations to Meridian and Lauderdale County Schools.
"It's a great opportunity for when the teacher sees a need, or sees a child come in with something they don't have, the teacher can walk to that closet and grab a school supply that you purchased, or the money that went towards the school supplies you bought, and they can grab what they need."
Local Principal Billy Burnham donates every year because he says some of his students benefit from the donations. He dropped off some uniforms because he says that's one of the biggest needs.
"To begin the year, we see a huge need for backpacks, and of course as the year moves on, students that are less fortunate can wear out their clothes or lose them."
One of the biggest contributors, Avery Corporation, dropped off three truckloads of school supplies, but that's only a small portion of their total donation.
Human Resources Manager at Avery Corporation, Jerome Roberts, says "We are a Pacesetter Company with the United Way, and we want to continue that tradition. We have about 25-30 more pallets of donated material that we're going to give to the United Way, so they can distribute them among the children that need them."
If you weren't able to make it out to "Stuff the Bus" and would like to contribute, you can mail checks to the United Way of East Mississippi, or drop off donations at their office on 23rd Avenue in Meridian.