‘This is for the kids’: Local volunteers pull together thousands of school supplies for upcoming giveaway

Grand Strand

MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WBTW) — One Socastee man is using his career as a wholesale distributor to help the Grand Strand and Pee Dee communities with school supplies amid the pandemic.

Volunteers have been sorting supplies for a planned giveaway of at least 10,000 boxes at the end of the week.

Gary Bingham’s company buys items in bulk from department stores like JCPenney. Now, they’re buying school supplies from Target by the tractor-trailer load.

They’re looking for volunteers to help with their goal of helping 5,000 or more families in a drive-thru giveaway on Friday and Saturday at the Bargain Warehouse.

Talk show host and volunteer Chad Caton says there will also be satellite locations in Aynor, Little River, Conway and Bucksport for families. He says he will post video updates on locations and times these Saturday giveaways will be on his Facebook page, “I’m Fired Up”.

The creator of the giveaway and volunteers say they understand how the pandemic has affected kids and their back-to-school routines.

“Just felt like it was something I could do more for the community and give out something I have an abundance of,” said Bingham. “There’s so many families out there that don’t have the where with all to buy extra items.”

For volunteer Patricia Marlow, recently recovered from COVID-19 and pneumonia, it wasn’t a question whether she’d volunteer.

“Having COVID really makes you thankful for every single breath you take,” she said.

She’s one of many sorting so that each family can get up to four boxes of supplies and a book bag.

“School is coming, parents right now are in financial straits, they have to buy food, they have to pay their bills,” said Marlow.

Marlow says she and other volunteers are planning to have local pastors from churches across Horry County be at the giveaway on Friday and Saturday to pray with each family in the car line.

The volunteers also plan to help out teachers in the community. Teachers can come by Friday and Saturday during the giveaway. Bingham plans to open the warehouse to teachers on a separate date next week for supplies as well.

More trucks will be coming in to drop items off during the week, meaning many more school supplies to fill the empty boxes.

“A 53 foot truckload could have tens of thousands of items in it,” said Bingham.

Full Details on School Supply Giveaway

The Bargain Warehouse, Murrells Inlet
Inlet Square Mall (former K-Mart store)
11 AM – 3 PMFri., Aug. 21 – Sat., Aug. 22
Satellite locations in Aynor, Conway, Bucksport and Little River (more details to come on I’m Fired Up Facebook page)TBASaturday
The Bargain Warehouse is opened to teachers (Gary Bingham’s Facebook page will have updates)TBADate coming soon; next week

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