United Way of Northeast Mississippi helped students in Pontotoc County start the 2021 school year a little better prepared.

As part of their Back 2 School Project, United Way recently delivered school supplies and hand sanitizer to each kindergarten through sixth grade school in Pontotoc County. The supplies were purchased thanks to donations from corporations and individuals in the region.

“This project is a way for us to give back to our schools that are already doing so much for the children in our region,” said Andy Burleson, campaign director at United Way. “Without our help, teachers would be buying some of these supplies out of their own pockets. We want to help relieve that burden and support the students at the same time.”

Burleson and colleague Mike Mitchell delivered supplies to over 60 elementary schools in the 8 counties covered by United Way of Northeast Mississippi.

“It’s a lot of work,” said Burleson. “But it’s worth it to know we’re making a difference for the kids.”

Between Pontotoc City and Pontotoc County school districts, United Way provided 1,584 packs of paper, 18,144 pencils, 1,512 glue sticks and 304 liters of hand sanitizer.

Donors to the project included several of United Way’s corporate contributors and individuals, including First Choice Bank, ITW Paslode, Denise Sojourner, M.D., Pontotoc Electric Power Association, Shannon & Graham Eye Clinic, Farmers Marketing Association, Pontotoc County Baptist Association and Buddy Montgomery.

“We couldn’t do this without our donors,” said Burleson. “We’re lucky to live in a part of the state that supports the community and its children.”

For more information about United Way of Northeast Mississippi, visit unitedwaynems.org

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