Warrick students and teachers now have more school supplies for their backpacks and classrooms thanks to the national Stuff the Bus campaign by the Salvation Army.

The Boonville and Newburgh Walmarts both had Warrick County School Corp. buses parked outside with the back doors open for people to drop off donated school supplies on Saturday, Aug. 3.

Boonville City Councilmen, Steve Byers and Larry Lacer, were out at the Boonville Walmart on Saturday morning to help collect supplies.

Lacer said he was glad the supplies they were helping to collect were going straight to the children of Boonville who need them most.

"They are going to the Hope Central kids," he said. "We want to do anything we can do to help the kids here."

Although the Stuff the Bus campaign was successful, it did occur the same day as the tragic El Paso shooting took place, in which a mass shooter killed at least 22 people at a Walmart in Texas, many of which were shopping for school supplies for their own children.

Samantha Hyde, director of community relations for the Salvation Army, said they were devastated by the shooting and had volunteers actually on the scene in El Paso to try and help.

"That was the first thing we thought of, with this being a national event," she said. "We weren't even sure if we were at the El Paso location and even though we hadn't seen news from our headquarters yet, we responded and tried to keep the first responders hydrated with water and gave them emotional and spiritual care."

Hyde did say the shooting did not affect any of the Indiana Stuff the Bus Walmart locations.

"It happened early enough in the day that for a lot of people, we didn't know it happened until it was already over," Hyde said.

The Newburgh and Boonville Walmarts hosted their campaigns from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Byers said volunteering for the children of Warrick County is something he has done for years.

"Helping kids was a part of my job in fire prevention management," he said. "I was the fire chief here in Boonville for 18 years."

Marisa Patwa is a graduate of the University of Evansville with a degree in journalism and minor in political science.

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