JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Coca-Cola Consolidated, Samaritan’s Feet and Food City teamed up to provide some special gifts for South Side Elementary School students.
About 340 students received gifts on Wednesday, and organizers of the program said their goal is to remove learning obstacles for students.
The children received shoes, socks, food, and backpacks.
“We all know how hard it is for kids and families, not only this school year but last school year,” South Side Elementary Principal Kaytee Jones said. “So just to motivate them, to encourage them that they’re doing great in school and to keep it up.”
South Side and other schools which were chosen by Coke for the program received items totaling about $12,500 per school.
“It’s very special because you just get their excitement and honesty,” Coca-Cola Engagement Manager Mike Combs said. “Noone gives that better than a child, so it’s really a blessing to be able to give to them and experience their joy.”
Combs said South Side was selected because it’s a Title I school.
“Title I is a school that, you know, needs a little more support than the other schools,” Combs said. “We try to identify schools in the community that can use the need the most, and so we try to give back as much as possible.”
“We’ve talked about this on our daily news, our announcements every day for over a week and they stop me in the hallway, and they can’t wait to get their free shoes, so it’s a big deal,” Jones said. “They’re excited about the Food City bags, one of the kids out here told me, ‘We have food for two weeks!’”
The event was one of eight taking place across Coke Consolidated’s territory to serve 3,000 children.