Shoppers looking to take advantage of some upcoming tax free deals, can use those savings to help out Marshall ISD’s “Pack the Bus” school supply drive and fundraiser Saturday at Walmart in Marshall.

Tax free weekend is set to run Aug. 9-11, offering shoppers about $102.2 million in state and local sales tax savings on items such as clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100.

Marshall ISD also will be at Walmart from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdayto encourage shoppers to help with their first ever “Pack the Bus Day,” part of the district’s overall “Pack the Bus” initiative, which seeks its goal of providing free school supplies to every single pre-kindergarten through fifth grade student at every campus for the start of the 2019-20 school year.

Community businesses and organizations across Marshall have come together the past few months to “Pack the Bus” by the start of school in August.

Most recently, Marshall ISD bus No. 44 traveled across town, from business to business, collecting supplies that have been collected by different organizations and businesses.

“We did pack the bus, but we are still accepting monetary donations if anyone would like to contribute,” Marshall ISD spokesman David Weaver said last week.

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

Marshall ISD will have a bus at the store Saturday for shoppers to help pack full of supplies. Walmart will also donate a grant to the district to help purchase supplies for the drive.

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

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 at weaverds@marshallisd.com. Contacts can also be made to Marshall ISD’s Special Assistant to the Superintendent Jessica Scott at 903-927-8713 or scottjl@marshallisd.com and Marshall ISD Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent 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.

The tax free weekend sales tax exemption applies only to items purchased during the sales tax holiday. The full list of qualifying items can be found at http://texastaxholiday.org/