- Associated Press - Saturday, October 29, 2016

MAGNOLIA, Miss. (AP) - Magnolia Mayor Anthony Witherspoon and his wife, state Sen. Tammy Witherspoon, are reaching out to businesses in the community to help the South Pike School District.

The Witherspoons recently presented the South Pike School Board with 60 gift bags full of classroom supplies for every teacher in the district. The bags were filled with supplies that will help cut costs for teachers. Some of the supplies included were paper towels, hand sanitizers, notebooks, pens and erasers.

The mayor tells The Enterprise-Journal (https://bit.ly/2efWKMO) that he’s now reaching out to area businesses for donations.

The Witherspoons’ son, Amani, attends Eva Gordon Elementary School. They said they wanted to give back after the issue of fundraising was brought up during a school board meeting in September.

Trustee Eva Andrews asked why the board approved so many fundraisers and wondered if schools had enough money in their activity funds to help cover costs.

Witherspoon said businesses stepping in to help schools would be beneficial amid the underfunding of public schools statewide.

He said schools must ask for help. “You have not because you ask not,” Witherspoon said, quoting the end of scripture, James 4:2.

Witherspoon said he, aldermen and the school district asked local businesses such as Croft Metals, Sanderson Farms and International Paper for help.

“They won’t know unless we inform them,” he said.

Witherspoon said every little bit helps.

“It’s a small donation of school supplies,” he said. “Most corporations have no problem with making contributions.”

Witherspoon said he hopes his family’s donation leads to more long-term gifts by businesses in the community.

“As community leaders, we should try something different,” he said.

South Pike Superintendent Johnnie Vick said he appreciated the support. “You all are great supporters of the school and we appreciate it,” he said.

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Information from: Enterprise-Journal, https://www.enterprise-journal.com

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