"Operation a Gift for Learning" was spearheaded by Tony Spinney and Christine Gallagher of The Cell Phone Solution after they helped with a similar program in Orlando last summer. Because they also own America's Office Source, they were able to collect donations and then purchase supplies at cost - saving thousands.
In all, they collected $1,400 and used that to buy more than $5,000 worth of supplies including:
- 1,000 pencils
- 1,000 eraser caps
- 150 binders
- 350 notebooks
- 150 packs of crayons
- 150 packs of colored pencils
- 150 scissors
- 150 rulers
- 150 boxes of kleenex
- 150 glue sticks
- gallon bottles of hand sanitizer
She says many local businesses stepped up to help including O'Maddy's, Salty's, The Gulfport Beach Bazaar, The Gulfport Merchant;s Association, So49, Aable Locksmith, Domain Home Accessories, Back Tax Solutions and McDonald's.
Volunteers dropped off the donated items on Monday, August 26. Biff Lagan of The Gulfport Beach Bazaar, Bob Newcomb of the Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce, Lynda Shehan of Auntie Lynda's Pet Service, Mayor Sam Henderson, City Councilor Jennifer Salmon and Christine Gallagher and Tony Spinney of The Cell Phone Solution & America's Office Source helped unload the truck and carry in the donations.
It just so happened that on the same day, Gallagher witnesses an anonymous donor drop off 8 backpacks filled with a lunch box and supplies.
"This was a huge accomplishment for our community and Gulfport Elementary is extremely grateful to the outreach from area businesses and citizens," Gallagher said.
Officials plan to continue "Operation a Gift for Learning" again next year!