A Gulfport neighborhood came through in a big way to help young students have what they need for the new school year.
On Aug. 15, a large cache of donated school supplies arrived at Gulfport Montessori Elementary School, the proceeds from a supply drive at the Seaside Villas apartment community in downtown Gulfport. According to GMES teacher Kathleen Bohrnsen, the initiative began when Seaside Villas leasing manager Laura Botsford, a former teacher, reached out with an idea for the residents to do something to support the school.
“For so many of our parents, things are tough right now,” said Bohrnsen. “They are working so hard and trying to get their supplies, but not always making it. There’s a great big need. So for Seaside to hold a fundraiser for our school – these kids are going to be so excited.”
The Seaside Villas residents decided to make the fundraiser one of their regular monthly events, using community email and social media to get the word out.
“We got together and came up with specific wish lists for each grade level,” said Bohrnsen. “They are giving backpacks, markers, journals, scissors, all kinds of supplies plus some extra stuff – just out of the goodness of their hearts and the desire to support Gulfport and its local elementary school.”
Seaside Villas already had a special place in Bohrnsen’s heart because her mother became a resident there recently after moving from Chicago.
“Everybody has just wrapped her with love,” she said. “It is just really fabulous.”