River Valley Kickstart Event Helps Thousands Of Local Students Get Ready To Return To School

ALMA, Ark. (KFSM) — What started as a heartwarming act from an Alma mom expanded into an event that helped thousands of local students get ready to return to school.

On Saturday (Aug. 10) the Alma High School gym was transformed into a major back to school event.

Hosted by Kibler Baptist Church, $40,000 worth of school supplies were given out to schoolchildren across the area.

Carrier Jernigan, who went viral after buying thousands of shoes from a Fort Smith Payless closing its doors, donated shoes for the event. More than 2,000 new shoes went home with kids who needed them.

"Every business and church that stepped up in this county that gave money, their time, and donations made it possible. And if you could see those kids walking out with shoes and socks and a haircut and backpacks, it would be a smile on your face," Jernigan said.

Staples also donated $30,000 to the event.

Along with school supplies and shoes, free haircuts, eye, and dental exams were also offered.

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