BILOXI, Mississippi — More than 300 students started the school year off right with the supplies they needed thanks to the East Biloxi Community Collaborative (EBCC) in partnership with Coastal Women for Change (CWC).
The annual school supply giveaway took place at the Gruich Community Center in late July right before school began on August 4.
Those who attended the event, say it was right on time.
“Thanks everyone for everything,” Racheal Gosselin wrote on EBCC’s Facebook page. “I was getting worried about how I was going to afford all these school supplies, and now I feel better.”
Gosselin lives in East Biloxi and is a single mother of three boys.
“I’m currently not working because of health problems, and I was getting stressed out,” she said. “You guys just made it much easier. We got exactly what we needed, and the process was easy.”
Volunteers from Coastal Women for Change, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Theta Zeta Omega Chapter and other groups were on hand to provide paper, pencils, pens, crayons, and other supplies according to the student’s grade level.
Before students could receive the supplies, parents first gained knowledge in mini workshop sessions with topics such as parental involvement, reading comprehension, and learning what resources are available in the Biloxi School District.
“We didn’t want to only provide school supplies,” said Allytra Perryman, EBCC Program Director. “We also wanted parents to get information they could use to help their students be successful throughout the school year.”
The supply giveaway is the brain child of Sharon Hanshaw, former Executive Director of CWC and former active member of the collaborative. Because of health issues, she has not been able to continue to volunteer, but members of CWC were diligent in making sure her vision continued.
“This was her baby, and we just couldn’t let her vision die,” said Cass Woods, CWC Executive Director. “She would be proud of what was accomplished here today.”