UPDATED - "Stuff the Bus," the big school supply drive held last saturday, yielded more than 18-thousand school supply items for needy children.
From kindergarten mats to hand sanitizer to pencils and pencil sharpeners, viewers opened their hearts and donated whatever they could.
Over 950 spiral notebooks were given at the wal-mart "stuff the bus" locations in the jonesboro area alone.
That doesn't count paragould, trumann, newport or the pocahontas locations.
And, over 2-thousand-five hundred and 16 dollars in cash was donated to the effort.
JONESBORO, AR-"We're doing "Stuff the Bus" today. Collecting school supplies," said a Volunteer.
Collecting is exactly what we did.
Hundreds turned out Saturday at Wal-Mart locations around Region 8 to help KAIT, Triple FM, CRDC, and United Way meet our goal of collecting school supplies for underprivleged children.
"We feel it's very important. We have a lot of children and families that need school supplies. School supplies are expensive, and we want kids to start off on the right foot when they begin the first day of school," said Loyd Price of Crowley's Ridge Development Council.
Therefore, families like Paul Pickens and his daughter Caroline had no problem pitching in and helping out.
"We're out getting out supplies today, and I thought it would be great for Caroline to learn about giving back. So, we bought a few extra supplies for the kids that might not be able to afford it," said Pickens.
And it wasn't surprising that dozens of kids wanted to help their classmates.
One by one they marched aboard the buses and made donations from big to small.
Organizers say, that's important because it's all about giving children the same opportunity, no matter their parent's income.
"They blend in with everybody else. They are part of the group and part of the system. Therefore, they can concentrate on learning, education and what the teacher works on in the classroom," said Price.
And one group of donations was quite the spectacle. Even the dogs marched in to show their support for the kids that are not much bigger than them.
"Even the dogs know how important education is. A good educated individual makes a good dog owner. So, this way the dogs can help the kids get a better education," said Wannda Turner of Northeast Arkansans For Animals.
And giving kids a good education whether it be with the dog's help, or the help of hundreds of good samaritans in Region 8, is what "Stuff the Bus" is all about.
"It's been great this morning. As we've gone into the store and gone down the isles where all the school supplies is located. They are packed with our flyers. We have had so many people who have been generous," said Michael Givens of United Way.
*And from all of us at KAIT, Triple FM, CRDC and United Way, a very special thank you to everyone who made donations and helped make this year's Stuff the Bus a success!