(WFXR) — With the Commonwealth’s Sales Tax Holiday underway, school districts and community organizations around southwest Virginia are teaming up to collect busloads of supplies for students in need.

For example, Roanoke County Public Schools, Roanoke City Public Schools, Salem City Public Schools, and Craig County Public Schools are joining forces to “Load the Bus for Kids!”

From Friday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 7, you can donate school supplies at any Roanoke Valley Walmart store — including those in Bonsack, Clearbrook, Salem, and Valley View — at the registers or in the bins inside the store.

“Each year, thousands of children across the Roanoke Valley begin school without the supplies they need to be successful,” said Roanoke County Public Schools Acting Superintendent Dr. Ken Nicely.  “Walmart is teaming up with area school systems to work together to provide the tools our children need in school.  Every single donation will help a student learn and achieve, even as many families continue to recover from the effects created by the pandemic.”

Community members are urged to donate the following items for students and classrooms:

  • Backpacks
  • Glue sticks
  • Notebooks
  • Three-ring binders
  • Crayons
  • Colored pencils
  • Notebook paper, both college- and wide-ruled
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Rulers
  • Folders
  • Scissors
  • Construction paper
  • Tissues
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Printer paper
  • Dry erase markers

School officials say they will also accept monetary donations for students who cannot afford the tools they need to succeed in the classroom.

“Every item and every cent of donations will go to help students in need in the Roanoke Valley and Craig Co.,” Roanoke County Public Schools said in a statement about the event.

Meanwhile, Franklin County Public Schools, Franklin County Service Unit of Salvation Army, United Way of Roanoke Valley, Healthy Franklin County, and Walmart are also hosting drop-off sites so they can “Fill the Bus” to help students of all grade levels.

Organizers invite members of the Franklin County community to donate school supplies from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday through Sunday at the Rocky Mount Walmart.

(Photo courtesy: Franklin County)

The United Way of Roanoke Valley says you can also drop off supplies at the following locations throughout the weekend:

Closer to central Virginia, Bedford County Public Schools says it’s working with Bedford County Department of Social Services and the Bedford Walmart to host a “Pack the Bus” event .

Not only will organizers accept donations of school supplies and money at the Bedford Walmart from noon to 7 p.m. on Friday, but there will also be collection boxes set up inside the Walmart both before and after the event.

You can also help “Pack the Bus” in the New River Valley at the Wytheville Walmart, where Wythe County Public Schools and the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office are planning to collect school supplies from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 6.

Some of the supplies Wythe County students need include bookbags, zipper pouches, #2 pencils, crayons, pens, colored markers, dry erase markers, notebooks, construction paper, binders, post-it notes, scissors, and glue sticks.