Mississippi Power employees will help the United Way of East Mississippi deliver school supplies and uniforms to Meridian and Lauderdale County’s public elementary schools on Friday, July 27th.
The items were collected during the United Way of East Mississippi’s annual “Stuff the Bus” school supply drive. A record breaking $20,000 worth of donations were collected, due in large part to partnerships with the Liberty Shop and Meridian Kiwanis.
“Kiwanis of Meridian was very proud to partner with the United Way and the Liberty Shop for this year’s very successful Stuff the Bus campaign,” said Tyler Walton of Meridian Kiwanis.
He added, “Despite the rainy day, this community came out and showed what a giving and caring place Lauderdale County is. Many students will benefit this year because of the generosity of those that participated in “Stuff the Bus”.
As the calendar wends toward August, students and parents know what's just around the corner: the start of another school year. Thanks to the tremendous support of the community, many students who would have otherwise returned to school without the essential supplies and uniforms they require will now be prepared to start a new school year.
This event also helps to lighten the financial burden on teachers who regularly will spend their own money to supply their students and classrooms.
“The average out-of-pocket expense for teachers is around $500," said Angie Nelson, Lead Teacher at Northeast Elementary School.
More than 4,000 students at eleven schools will receive supplies and uniforms collected during the event. After this year’s success, the United Way of East Mississippi hopes to be able to expand and include the public middle schools in next year’s drive.
“For over a decade we’ve tried different ways to supply our students,” said Thad Quarles, Executive Director, United Way of East Mississippi.
“This year, because of our community partnerships, we’re going to be able to deliver more school supplies than ever before to meet the needs of the children in the city and county school systems. We’re really encouraged by the outpouring of support, company donations, and individuals who showed up to help stuff the bus. We view each of our children as world class citizens and this event helps to show our commitment to them as they start a new school year,” Quarles concluded.