|Emily Brush asked for supplies instead of birthday presents|
Staff Photo by Stacey Hairston:
Instead of presents for her birthday, Emily Brush collected school supplies for needy children in Franklin County. Here, she takes a moment to give Q-Bear a big hug before donating her collection of supplies to the Q99 Pack the Bus tour.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer
Five-year-old Emily Brush of Hardy made a special donation of school supplies to Q99 radio's 14th annual "Pack the Bus" tour at Walmart last Friday.
Brush, a rising kindergartner at Windy Gap Elementary, collected the supplies at her fifth birthday party, instead of receiving gifts for herself.
"I have a lot of toys in my closet already," said Brush. "It makes me happy to help others."
Brush received donations of pencil boxes, paper, folders, markers, crayons and lots of other items.
Her grandmother, Sandy Hunt, brought her to the Pack the Bus tour Friday morning to donate the items, something Brush said she plans to do every year from now on.
Brush was one of many individuals and local businesses that came out to support the tour, which supplies underprivileged children in Franklin County with the needed supplies to start the new school year.
This year, the tour collected $4,100 in school supplies for local students in need.
County children received $200 from Pepsi, $300 from Shentel and a grant for $3,000 from Walmart. Franklin County Schools' central office collected $115, and Rocky Mount United Methodist Church donated over 30 bookbags.
Walmart customer service Manager Susan Farris supplied tour volunteers with subs for lunch, and customer Linda Catlett of Henry donated her usual cart-full of supplies.
McDonald's in Rocky Mount gave gift certificates to all those who donated.
All supplies collected at the Rocky Mount Walmart will remain in Franklin County and will go to Franklin County school children. Representatives from each county school will handle the distribution of the school supplies.
"The pack the bus event each year brings together our community, teachers, principals and businesses to support student needs," said Keith Pennington, director of curriculum and instruction for Franklin County schools. "Q99 always devotes a lot of time and energy into making the event successful. I think this year was very successful. All schools have materials to start the school year, and we will make them available to students as they return next week."
The Pack the Bus project reached 23 school districts this year, with 14 different stops from Bland and Wythe counties to Lexington, Covington and Pearisburg.
The tour was sponsored by Pepsi, Walmart, Shentel, Gwaltney and Heiner's Bakery.
Over the years, the tour has collected more than $500,000 in school supplies for area children in need.