United Way to give away school supplies

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The United Way of Northeast Mississippi is gearing up for its back-to-school resource fair in July.
The second annual event gives away free school supplies to kindergarten through sixth-grade students in need. The July 28 event at the BancorpSouth Arena officially kicks off the United Way’s annual campaign.
The United Way hopes to give away 4,000 backpacks full of supplies. So far, 1,300 students have preregistered.
The organization also is seeking sponsors for supplies. Last year, it asked the community to donate supplies.
“We didn’t receive enough to fill the backpacks,” said Susie Morgan, United Way’s director of marketing and communications.
This year, the United Way is asking for sponsors instead of supplies. A $10 donation sponsors one backpack.
Morgan said the backpacks are in a variety of colors and will have basic supplies of pencils, crayons, paper, notebooks and other items.
She said United Way still needs about $28,000 to hit its goal.
To register for free supplies or to sponsor a backpack, go www.unitedwaynems.org/back-2-school-resource-fair or call (662) 841-9133.
The fair will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will school supplies for students who register, along with vision screenings, hearing screenings, activity booth and inflatable games. The United Way won’t have haircuts at the fair this year, but Morgan said there will be a limited number of vouchers available for students on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Students must have a guardian with them at the fair.
The United Way also is in need of volunteers for the fair. Plus, it still has room for more exhibitors, which can include churches, businesses and civic groups.
“It’s just a great day to get geared up to going back to school and getting the resources for it,” Morgan said. “There’s a need in our area for bettering the education of our kids. This helps them get the supplies and start school in a positive way. It’s setting them up to thrive.”

carlie.kollath@journalinc.com

To register for free supplies or to sponsor a backpack, go www.unitedwaynems.org/back-2-school-resource-fair or call (662) 841-9133.
The United Way also is seeking volunteers for the July 28 event at the BancorpSouth Arena.