Company bestows book bags to S.P. Morton Elementary

Published 12:40 pm Saturday, August 31, 2013

FRANKLIN—By Tuesday, all of the first-graders at S.P. Morton Elementary will be well supplied for the new school year. This comes through the generosity of employees at Quality Custom Distribution Services and the Golden State Food Foundation, both in Suffolk. They have provided 132 book bags stuffed with supplies included paper, rulers, glue sticks and pencils.

The presentation isn’t a first and only gift, but a third one, said Starr Harris, R.N. In addition to working as the school nurse, she’s taken on the responsibility of arranging such beneficence.

“Over the years I’ve become the community liaison the school,” said Harris, who added this will be her last year as nurse. After 30 years, she’s retiring at the end of the school year, and looks forward to traveling and working in a greenhouse her husband had created for her.

GSF selects communities where its employees live, and Franklin is one of them.

“They (GSF) just called us and said ‘We’d like to do this for you,’” Harris said about how the book bags came to S.P. Morton.

Schools in Suffolk and Elizabeth City, N.C., were also recipients. Harris said she was told 500 book bags were bought and supplied by the employees.

“They get together on their own time after work and take turns delivering them,” she said.

“It’s such a blessing,” Harris about that gift, as well as the two book bags given by the L.V. Taylor Missionary Circle of Piney Grove Baptist Church in Franklin. Further, the United Methodist Women of High Street UMC donated a $200 gift card from Walmart, which Harris said could be used later for unexpected needs later in the school year.

That morning, Natasha Baird of Portsmouth, operating clerk, and Chris Chisholm, warehouse supervisor, came in to help unload the book bags. Benjamin Horton, warehouse assistant, was another co-worker who assisted.

“The backpack project is dear to me,” said Baird, who said she’s a former schoolteacher. “I know how much it helps students and teachers. I love coming into schools again.”

Chisholm, who lives in Suffolk, has been with QCDS for 10 years. He said stuffing the book bags takes a few hours.