Berkeley biz competes to stuff the bus for needy school kids

      BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) -Lowcountry kids head back to school at the end of the month, many of themwithout the supplies they need to achieve their full potential in theclassroom.

      Thanks to a community-wideeffort in Berkeley County, students will hitthe hallways with book bags busting with everything they need.

      With as much excitement as the firstday of school, dozens of JW Aluminum employees waited for the big, yellowschool bus - not to head to class but to lend a helping hand.

      "We're all about giving back tothe community and this gives us the opportunity to prove that we arecommunity-based," said Nicole Byrn with JW Aluminum.

      Paper, pens, pencils - things everychild needs, but for some the cost of embarking on a new school year can be aschallenging as AP Calculus.

      "We understand that some kidscan be less fortunate and people work hard every day and we feel fortunate thatwe can give back sometimes," Byrn said.

      That's why the Berkeley County School Districtcalled on the community members and companies to help them stuff the bus withcrayons, notebooks, and paper. Dozens of employees gathered at the Mt. Hollyfacility, taking pride in their gold-star effort and a little friendlycompetition.

      "We turned it into a fun game,and the kids are benefiting from it and they're all winners here - there areno losers," said Paul Shaw.

      Although no medals were handedout, the maintenance team took home the top prize. But everyone who joined insaid they know it's about helping the kids excel in school.

      "They don't have to worry aboutit. The needy kids, whoever needs it, they won't have to worry about it. Thesupplies will be there for the kids and teachers as well," said Todd Gross. "Sometimesit's tough, so we just hope we can take a little pressure off the schooldistrict and the kids."

      An additional 10 backpacksstuffed with school supplies and notebooks were also collected for children atthe Callen-Lacey home.