It took less than three hours for shoppers at Wal-Mart in Shelby to fill up a Shelby Police truck with school supplies for children in need.
On Tuesday, officers with the Shelby Police Department and staff from Cleveland County Department of Social Services stood outside Wal-Mart to solicit donations of school supplies.
“August is child support awareness month and we usually have some kind of community service project like this every year. We decided to partner with the Police Department and put all of our efforts together instead of trying to hold two competing events,” said Tracy Tolbert , child support program manager for the Department of Social Services.
Throughout the drive shoppers would exit the store with shopping bags full of school supplies to donate.
Throughout the day shoppers donated enough supplies to fill the bed of a Ford F-250 with supplies four times over.
“Our goal today was just to fill up the truck once so this is great,” said Lt. Chris Flowers with the Shelby Police Department after the first truckload of supplies was carried off.
The department’s school resource officers worked with local teachers to determine what needs they expected to have this year, and targeted those needs at the supply drive. Staff members from social services and members of the Gardner-Webb University women’s basketball team handed out flyers for the supply drive to people in the store parking lot.
Items teachers said they need most ranged from everyday tools like pencils and paper to extra diapers and children’s clothes for the school district’s per-kindergarten program and for special needs students at North Shelby School.
Snacks were also high on the needs list.
“It is unfortunate some kids won’t have meals when they go home for the day. So we want to provide snacks for the schools to give the kids when they leave,” said Sgt. Scott Ledford of the police department.
School supplies collected on Tuesday will be sorted and delivered to teachers before the start of school on Wednesday, Aug. 17.
Flowers said the department will continue to accept donations of supplies through the summer. Supplies can be dropped off at 130 W. Warren St. or at Cleveland County Social Services, 130 S. Post Road.