ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Our Tools for Schools school supply drive went off without a hitch Friday, bringing in thousands of supplies to help Big Country students start off their 2023-2024 school year right.

Justin Whiteley, Director of Community Resource Partnerships with Communities in Schools, said KRBC’s Tools for Schools school supply drive brought in nearly 2,000 spiral notebooks, 1,000+ packs of notebook paper, and close to 1,000 packs of pencils, pens, crayons, and map colors.

“It was just overwhelming how generous. Our community came out and really supported the students in our Big Country area, with all the donations at Walmart,” Whiteley rejoiced.

The KTAB/KRBC team were posted up outside of Abilene’s south side Walmart last Friday, taking donations and passing out fliers to inform shoppers about how they can help.

Communities in Schools has a full time “student advocate” on campuses throughout the area, Whiteley explained, who works with staff to see which students are in need of supplies and other resources or accommodations.

“When you start school right, when you have all of the essentials that you need, then they’re (the students) going to be more successful in the classroom… But when the families don’t have the money to provide those things,” said Whiteley, “that’s when we tend to see behavior issues, or when it comes to their self esteem and those aspects. All aspects of their education can really start with having the materials get started off right when it comes to being successful in the classroom.”

If you didn’t get a chance to make it to Walmart to see us for the school supply drive, you can still help out by visiting this link to make a monetary donation. Likewise, if you have a student in need, you can learn how to get them some help.

Communities in Schools puts on multiple events throughout the year, benefitting students across the Big Country. Their next event will be at Abilene’s JC Penney store where several students will get to go on a small shopping spree to find new clothes for the new school year.

“Our goal is to make sure that whatever you donate, 100% goes towards the kids and the students,” Whiteley added.