Sales tax holiday to give local back to school drives a boost

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated Jul 24, 2019 at 9:38 PM

Tennessee’s annual back to school sales tax holiday is coming up this weekend and at a couple of Johnson City’s biggest retail centers the tax-free shopping will come with an opportunity to help equip local children in need for the new school year.

Friday through Sunday, shoppers at Walmart on West Market Street are invited to help stuff a bus with school supplies for kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Johnson City/Washington County.

Part of national Walmart back-to-school initiative, the store at 2915 W. Market is one of nearly 3,000 Walmarts across the country hosting Stuff the Bus events for kids in their communities.

In addition to its efforts to help the club during the Friday through Sunday tax-free period, the West Market Street Walmart will offer another opportunity to to stuff the bus for the Boys & Girls Club on Saturday, Aug. 3.

Shoppers who wish to help will find a list of needed schools supplies inside the store and may drop off the requested items in collection bins at the front of the store.

Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Robin Crumley said the club is delighted to have been chosen as the beneficiary of West Market Street Walmart’s Stuff the Bus collection.

“Parents are preparing for their children to go back to school and many of them need assistance to start the school year off right,” she said “By donating school supplies for a child in need, you’re easing the burden parents experience at the start of the school year and helping set the right tone for our kids as they head back to school.

“It’s the boost of confidence they need to have a successful year. Local families will be able to confidently send their children off to their first day of school knowing they are equipped with the tools to have a positive school year.”

Crumley invited friends of the club and others who wish to help to please stop by store to say hello and “help make sure our kids have the supplies they need to have an amazing school year.”

More information about the event may be obtained by calling Crumley at the club at 423-461-4560.

At The Mall at Johnson City, a drive to stuff a bus for the Seasons of Hope Operation School Bus back-to-school distribution has been going on for weeks and will continue through Saturday’s Back to School Party at the mall.

Midway through the sales tax holiday weekend, the mall’s back-to-school party will be held noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 27. For Seasons of Hope, it will be the community’s last big chance to help meet the need for backpacks and supplies and new shoes and clothing for 50 teens and younger children who are not included in any other back-to-school distribution.

Seasons of Hope’s back-to-school distribution is set for Friday at the Rose Hill Weddings venue in downtown Johnson City, a day ahead of the back-to-school party at the mall that will still provide an opportunity to help more than 30 teens and children on the Season of Hope waiting list.

As of Tuesday, five teens included in the Seasons of Hope distribution were still without sponsors and still in need of gift cards for clothes shopping, T84 calculators, socks and underwear and new or gently used shoes for back to school.

Donations for the Seasons of Hope drive may be dropped off at the Summit Leadership Foundation office at 3104 Hanover Road, at Rose Hill Weddings at 223 E. Market St., or in the Seasons of Hope Operation School Bus bin located outside the Forever 21 shop in the JC Penney Court of The Mall at Johnson City.

Monetary donations for Seasons of Hope’s Operation School Bus may be made online at www.roonga.com/osbteen, on PayPal to seasonsofhopetn@gmailcom or by mail to Seasons of Hope, P.O. Box 5633, Johnson City, TN.

For more information or to volunteer at the back-to-school party, contact Katy Keen at seasonsofhopetn@gmail.com or 423-724-7398. More information about the Seasons of Hope drive is available at www.seasonsofhopetn.org and at the Seasons of Hope Inc. page on Facebook.

If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at 423-722-0538, slegg@johnsoncitypress.com or P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605.