Economic hardships have made it increasingly difficult for some families to provide their children school supplies.
To address the need, Dawson County Family Connection will host its annual school supply drive from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Walmart.
"With the economy in the state it's in, the number of families that could benefit from assistance is increasing," said Family Connection Coordinator Nancy Stites.
The Stuff the Bus event parks a Dawson County School Bus in the Walmart parking lot and asks shoppers to donate supplies to local children in need.
"There is a tremendous need. It is a hard time for many families," Stites said. "By supplying school items, it gives a student the right tools they need to succeed and start the year off right."
Supplies being collected include paper, pens, pencils, binders, folders, bookbags and more.
"If we can get just one donation from a person it is a huge help. Even a pad of paper is very helpful to a student in need," she said.
According to officials, scientific calculators are always in high demand.
"Calculators are expensive so not many are donated," Stites said.
To receive assistance from the supply drive students must first qualify. Low income families, foster children and those who are homeless are eligible.
Those students who participate in the free and reduced lunch program usually qualify.
Last year's drive provided about 250 bookbags filled with supplies to students in need, Stites said.
"When students are prepared it helps boost their moral," she said.
In addition to the Aug. 4 event, the organization is also accepting donations at various locations around town, including Chick-fil-A, Big Canoe Chapel, Lava Hair Studio, several banks and more.
KARE for Kids and the school system are also assisting in collecting supplies.
For more information, or to find out how to help, contact Stites at (706) 265-1981.