Shoppers taking advantage of the state’s tax free weekend on Saturday also used those savings as a chance to help out Marshall ISD students during the district’s partnership event, “Pack the Bus Day” with Walmart in Marshall.

“We have had a really great day,” Marshall ISD spokesman David Weaver said on Saturday in front of Walmart. “In just five hours we received more than $1,200 in cash and nine full buggies of school supplies from the lists we provided to shoppers as they walked in the doors.”

The list highlighted items still needed after months of donations and supply collections from area businesses, churches and organizations in an effort to provide every school supply needed this school year for every student in grades kindergarten through fifth grade.

“Every single Marshall ISD kindergarten through fifth grader will have their supplies provided to them for free this school year,” Weaver said on Saturday. “The only thing we ask the parents to provide is their backpacks and a lunchbox.”

Currently, there are 2,657 elementary students in grades pre-kindergarten through fifth grade enrolled in Marshall ISD.

“Pack the Bus Day” was a partnership between Marshall ISD and Walmart that was to simultaneously celebrate the store’s grand opening post-remodel, and also encourage shoppers to purchase school supplies for Marshall ISD on that tax free weekend.

The Marshall Walmart’s grand re-opening has been pushed back to next week, managers on site said Saturday.

The idea for “Pack the Bus” first came to Marshall ISD Superintendent Jerry Gibson when he was asked by an area church what they could do to help the district.

“From there, we talked about having a school supply drive, and I said, ‘We need to just pack the bus,’” Gibson said previously. “We said we need to get as many churches as possible involved, and then I started thinking, ‘What if we took it even further and got civic organizations like the Lions Club, Rotary Club, Optimist Club and others involved?’

“Then the idea continued growing and we thought of Marshall area groups like doctors, dentists, CPAs, attorneys and realtors.”

To donate or to drop off collected supplies, contact Weaver at 903-927-8727 or weaverds@marshallisd.com; Jessica Scott at 903-927-8713 or scottjl@marshallisd.com; or Ana Ramirez at 903-927-8701 or ramireza@marshallisd.com.

To see what supplies are spoken for, collected or still needed and in what quantities, see an updated list available on the Marshall ISD website at www.marshallisd.com.