Henrico mom hands out free school supplies: ‘It makes me happy’

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- As students get ready to head back to class on Tuesday, one mother handed out free school supplies to students at a party at her East End home.

Children and their parents flocked to Marsha’s third annual Labor Day Back-to-School Bash on Saturday afternoon.

Marsha Witherspoon said she came up with the idea as an alternative to her usual big birthday party.

“I work in a mental health agency, and I know that there is a strong need for little things,” Witherspoon said.

Accordingly, Witherspoon said “a lot of people need things” and “are financially struggling.”

“When you have multiple children, three or four children, [and they need] 30 glue sticks a piece or 12 composition books a piece, that can be kind of expensive," Witherspoon said. "If I can take some of the financial stress off of the parents, then I just want to do what I can to help.”

Picture time!

Picture time!

Witherspoon said each year the event gets bigger and bigger. In fact, this year she set a goal of 300 book bags.

“It feels good, because one of the greatest things you can ever hear is a child’s laughter," Witherspoon said. "Because kids are so innocent, so it makes me happy that the kids can enjoy themselves, worry-free, stress-free."

Witherspoon, who said she spends about $5,000 as well as receives about $1500 in donations for the day, said she hopes the giveaway eases the minds of parents heading into the new school year.

ood morning! I spend out of pocket about $5000 for the event and I recieve about $1500 in donations both monetary and physical donation!

In addition to the free supplies, there was also free food, face-painting and a host of games and activities, including a bounce house. Several superheroes were also spotted milling about and playing basketball.

“I just want the kids to have one last good time before school starts,” Witherspoon said.