Local charity battles inflation as they prepare for back-to-school giveaway

School supplies tax holiday helping non-profit
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 10:50 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Some relief at the cash register the weekend of July 15 - 17, for the 17th annual sales tax holiday for school-related items.

With inflation topping more than 8%, the cost of just about everything had gone up in 2022, including school supplies. The Alabama sales tax holiday waived the states 4% sales tax and some local municipalities participated as well, which the state said increased the savings upwards of 10%.

Tiesha Watts with the organization Margins: Women Helping Black Women said the local group was feeling the pinch as they prepared for their yearly back-to-school giveaway.

Watts said although the savings weren’t a lot of money, it would make a difference.

“It helps us to save a lot. We use the amounts that were saving to put somewhere else,” Watts said. Not only giving away backpacks full of school supplies, Margins also makes sure students have fresh clothing and toiletries.

Watts said the effort was fully funded by donations and they were getting fewer resources than usual.

Because of slower donations, Watts said they would downsize the book bag giveaway.

“We normally give out close to 300, 350, this year we’re down in the 250 range. So we’re taking a hard hit,” she explained.

However, the group of volunteers were hopeful more relief and donations would come so they could continue the much needed initiative.

“When you think about the enrollment in the beginning of the school year, a lot of students don’t participate in the first two weeks, which are the most crucial weeks, but they do not participate because of a lack of supplies. So, what we’re looking to do is not only have this drive but we’re looking to circle back [for another giveaway]. We still want to give the same amount that were used to giving,” Watts said.

Margins will host their back to school giveaway July 17. Click here for details and to donate.

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