Meridian, Miss. The United Way of East Mississippi had its most successful year yet with Stuff the Bus.
In addition to all the school supplies collected, the organization also raised $17,000 in cash which was used for supply kits and uniform vouchers for school children. All of those supplies are now being distributed to area schools as the beginning of the year draws closer.
Meridian superintendent, Dr. Alvin Taylor, says, "The misconception is that public education is free. Really, for the parents, there are so many residual cost like uniforms and school supplies; those things really add up."
Taylor is happy with United Way and what it's doing to help local kids.
Taylor went on to say, "What United Way is doing with Stuff the Bus helps us tremendously, not just the school district, but the community overall. I can't begin to thank them for what they do for us and the tremendous impact they've had."
A donation of a box of crayons may not seem like much, but it means the world to the child that now has a pack all his or her own.
Candy Robertson, the principal at West Hills Elementary School, says, "It’s very important to the students because we may have a lot of students that may come in without any supplies. This just puts a smile on their face when they are handed a packet of supplies."
With so much success, United Way hopes to maybe expand to include middle and high schools in the future.
"This has been tremendous for the community. Both of our superintendents have come out for support. And we are hoping that next year with success like this we can include middle schools and the high schools,” said United Way's Sarah Odom. “Thank you to everybody that came. They don't realize how one little box of crayons, when it all adds up, it makes a huge difference."