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Group donates school supplies

LaGRANGE — Early Tuesday morning, area businesses trucked in vans loaded with gifts to the Troup County School System administration building off North Davis Road for the second year in a row.

It was not Christmas, or anyone’s birthday, but it was a new school year tradition started by the compassion and generosity of folks in the community.

The Kia of LaGrange Stuff the Bus campaign had more sponsors this year and almost doubled the amount of school supplies donated to the school system, said Kia general sales manager John Gerdeman.

“This event is also a part of our slogan, ‘Support the local community.’ That’s exactly what we intended to do,” he said. “We put the event on social media. … Our sales people put it on their social media pages. … The event continues to grow and we are happy to be a part of it.”

For 45 days, Kia of LaGrange and businesses including Jackson Heating and Air, Dr. John Vollenweider General Family Dentistry, Avis Car Rental of LaGrange, Advertising Made Easy and Securus Select collected school supplies for teachers and students. The event culminated with boxes packed to the brim with paper, pens, pencils, crayons, hand sanitizer, notebooks, book bags and more.

“We decided to get involved in the event after learning about local teachers providing basic school materials to students … and paying for them with money out of their own pocket,” said Dale Jackson, owner and partner of Jackson Heating and Air. “We, at Jackson Heating and Air, feel that it is our responsibility to be a good corporate citizen and answer the call to this need for the teachers and students in our community. I hope this will serve to set an example to other businesses in the community to jump in and help out in other areas of need.”

Yolanda Stephen, director of public relations for the Troup County School System, said the supplies are greatly appreciated — and will be put to good use.

“The teachers and students will be so excited (about the supplies). … You never know who is in need of school supplies. This will help fill the gap,” she said. “… We can’t say thank you enough. Teachers will see, feel and touch these items. Students will use these items. To see so much support means much to them — and to us.”

A box filled with the donated supplies will be given to every public elementary, middle and high school in Troup County, said Stephen. Two more boxes will also be given to the THINC Academy and the Hope Academy.

In all, 19 schools will receive items this year from the Stuff the Bus campaign, Stephen said.

John Gerdeman, Kia of LaGrange general sales manager, pushes a cart full of donated school supplies into the Troup County School System administration complex off North Davis Road on Tuesday. This is the second year in a row Kia of LaGrange had spearheaded the Stuff the Bus campaign.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_web0817STB02.jpgJohn Gerdeman, Kia of LaGrange general sales manager, pushes a cart full of donated school supplies into the Troup County School System administration complex off North Davis Road on Tuesday. This is the second year in a row Kia of LaGrange had spearheaded the Stuff the Bus campaign. Melanie Ruberti | Daily News
Boxes full of donated school supplies fill part of the sidewalk in front of the Troup County School System administration building. For 45 days, six businesses around the county collected the items for the Stuff the Bus campaign.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_web0817STB03.jpgBoxes full of donated school supplies fill part of the sidewalk in front of the Troup County School System administration building. For 45 days, six businesses around the county collected the items for the Stuff the Bus campaign. Melanie Ruberti | Daily News
Boxes full of donated school supplies fill part of the sidewalk in front of the Troup County School System administration building. For 45 days, six businesses around the county collected the items for the Stuff the Bus campaign.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_web0817STB04.jpgBoxes full of donated school supplies fill part of the sidewalk in front of the Troup County School System administration building. For 45 days, six businesses around the county collected the items for the Stuff the Bus campaign. Melanie Ruberti | Daily News
Dale Jackson, owner and partner of Jackson Heating and Air, piles donated notebooks onto a cart outside the Troup County School System headquarters off North Davis Road. The notebooks were some of the items given to the school system through the second annual Stuff the Bus campaign.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_web0817STB01.jpgDale Jackson, owner and partner of Jackson Heating and Air, piles donated notebooks onto a cart outside the Troup County School System headquarters off North Davis Road. The notebooks were some of the items given to the school system through the second annual Stuff the Bus campaign. Melanie Ruberti | Daily News
19 schools to receive supplies from campaign

By Melanie Ruberti

mruberti@civitasmedia.com

Melanie Ruberti is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. She can be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.