Alabaster gym collects supplies for school in need

From left, John David Rock, Joe Johnson and Fit 24 owner Keith Davis, load donations collected at the gym to benefit students and teachers at Selma’s R.B. Hudson Middle School. (Contributed)

From left, John David Rock, Joe Johnson and Fit 24 owner Keith Davis, load donations collected at the gym to benefit students and teachers at Selma’s R.B. Hudson Middle School. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – When Fit 24 personal trainer Joyce Bulford heard the situation teachers were facing at a Selma middle school a few days before the beginning of the academic year, she didn’t hesitate for a second when deciding to help out.

Bulford asked the gym’s owner if she could solicit donations from the gym’s members to benefit students and teachers at Selma’s R.B. Hudson Middle School. After the owner gave Bulford the OK, both she and the gym’s leadership were shocked at the response they got in a few short days.

“I was talking to one of my friends, who is a teacher at R.B. Hudson, and she was almost in tears because they weren’t going to have any school supplies until October 1,” Bulford said during an Aug. 8 interview. “Without copy paper, they can’t even print a syllabus for the first day.”

On the night of Wednesday, Aug. 3, the gym began soliciting donations to help the school. Two days later, Bulford was able to fill the bed of her Ford pickup truck with supplies ranging from paper and pencils to hand sanitizer and toilet paper.

“The gym members really responded. They didn’t want the teachers to have to start the school year without supplies,” Bulford said. “We got four cases of paper and several cases of school supplies, and this was just in a matter of a few days.”

Gym volunteers worked to create gift bags for teachers at R.B. Hudson over the weekend, and worked to ensure teachers received the supplies before the first day of school on Aug. 8.

But the gym isn’t stopping with the school’s immediate needs, Bulford said.

“What we collected last week, that was just to meet the immediate need to get them started with the school year,” Bulford said. “We are still accepting donations to help them during the first half of the semester.”

The Fit 24 locations on Huntley Parkway in Pelham and on Market Center Drive in Alabaster currently are accepting school supply donations to benefit R.B. Hudson, and will do so for the next several weeks. The gyms are staffed from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday. Bulford said the gyms are collecting the same items on local middle school supply lists, such as copy paper, loose-leaf paper, pens and pencils.