SEA holds second back-to-school supplies giveaway

Published 8:52 am Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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MONTEVALLO – A Shelby County nonprofit organization made sure many local students had access to the supplies they need before another new school year starts.

Shelby Emergency Assistance held its second annual back-to-school drive-thru event on the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 2.

SEA staff, board members and volunteers distributed new backpacks filled with school supplies that were donated to the organization’s School Supply Program.

SEA had prepared to serve an estimated 200 people at this year’s back-to-school parade, which benefited nearly 180 people in its first year.

“I think we’re going to have enough for everybody,” SEA Education Coordinator Cindy Pope said during the event. “The community, businesses and individuals have made it happen, so it’s wonderful.”

Pope said SEA started collecting supplies from donors in mid-June and was still accepting donations as of Aug. 2.

Supplies collected and distributed included notebooks, plastic folders, pens, pencils, erasers, binders, glue sticks, color pencils, markers, highlighters, crayons, graph paper, index cards, calculators, Kleenex and hand sanitizer.

Rebbie Taylor-Jones, student development coordinator at the University of Montevallo, oversaw students with the Upward Bound program volunteering at the event and said she enjoys serving children through SEA’s programs.

“I just love doing things for the young folks,” she said.

Cheerleaders and a bear mascot added spirit to the event, waving at visitors as they drove through the line.

Pope said the back-to-school event also served as an opportunity to talk to visitors about other services they might need, such as rental and utility assistance.

In addition to school supplies, SEA also distributed bags of food to those who expressed a need.

“We have a food pantry open all the time,” Pope said. “They are welcome to come any time and get food. Our food pantry is based on how many people are in the household.”

More information about SEA’s programs and services can be found at