Needy students in Rhea County will be given all the supplies they need to start the new school yea, but with the boom of people needing the assistance organizers tell us they won't have enough and need more donations.

"As they come around they'll get a box of supplies that are for their age group" said Christine Ralph, United Way of Rhea County.

Hundreds of kids will be lining the Rhea County Middle School gym, getting everything they need to start the new school year.

A task Ralph says can otherwise be stressful financially on some parents who don't have the income.

"Think about a parent having to go buy school supplies and new shoes for the child to get back into the classroom," said Ralph.

Ralph tells me last year they had 400 students participate in the Give A Kid A Chance, but this year they saw a huge increase in the need with 637 registering for the school supplies.

"This year we're up 200, which surprised us, but the only thing I can think of is the economy and then the knowledge of this event and what it does for the parents," said Ralph.

While they're prepared for those who are registered, it's the ones that aren't that they're not prepared for.

"We may have 50 to 75 that will come in that aren't registered and we try to work with them," said Ralph.


She says while they need the basic items of glue, pens and scissors to give to those last minute kids; it’s the additional items on the back-to-school-list that they're looking for.

Items like tissues, reams of paper and anti-bacterial hand sanitizer.

Ralph says even if they don't walk away with their supplies on Thursday morning, they'll make sure they don't walk into school on their first day without them.

"I will not turn any child away, we will just work out another day for them to pick up their supplies," said Ralph.

The event is being held on Thursday morning at the Rhea County Middle School from 9 until noon.

Whatever items are not picked up by kids that were pre-registered will be given to those who were not.