The Salvation Army collects donations of school supplies for those in need

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – The Salvation Army of Sevierville collected donations of school supplies at Walmart on Saturday for its Fill the Bus initiative. The organization’s goal was to fill an entire bus with school supplies for people in need.

Many local children go to school on their first day without the proper equipment, said Sevierville Salvation Army Lt. Rashad Poole.

“Kids really need school supplies for the less fortunate in our community. Six out of 10 children in Sevier County won’t have the supplies they need when they walk through that door on the first day of school,” Poole said.

The organization couldn’t do it without a little help, however. The Sevierville Fire Department and volunteers helped collect donations, including 9-year-old Cayden Tidwell.

“It really excites me because I love when I see new faces and new experiences when people go to school. I love that,” Tidwell said.

The Salvation Army asked people for basic school supplies, including backpacks, notebooks, pens, pencils and more. Poole said the entire Sevier County area stepped in to help.

“It’s so good to know that we have people in the community who want to give back and help the kids in our community,” Poole said.

Tidwell enjoys helping collect donations because he knows some of his peers may be going to school without the proper supplies. He hopes to help change that narrative.

“It just makes me happy to see their faces,” Tidwell said.

The Salvation Army will continue to collect donations and distribute them to those in need on August 4 at their Sevierville location. Families and children in Sevier and Cocke counties are eligible.

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