UAB to lead school supply donation initiative to benefit schools affected by tornadoes

A new school year is upon us, and for some, it will be the first time back to school since the April 27 tornadoes ripped through local Birmingham communities. Many Birmingham area school students affected by the storms are in need of help.

(From left) Tami Long, Daron Drew and Kathryn Jones are coordinating the more than two dozen drop sites for UAB employees to donate school supplies as part of the Donate Supplies to Schools project.

That is why UAB is partnering with the Birmingham City Schools Board of Education to help those in need by collecting necessary school supplies for area schools. All UAB employees are invited to participate in the Donate Supplies to Schools project, which will take place from July 22 through Aug. 8.

“We wanted to do a back-to-school project of some kind this year, and we thought it would be a good idea to target the children affected by the tornadoes,” says Marie Baisden, director of The Resource Center/Employee Assistance Program at UAB and coordinator of the project. “Many students have lost everything. If we can reach out to these kids and their parents, maybe we can at least make one thing easier for them.”

The project originated with the Office of Human Resources, of which The Resource Center is a part. Alesia Jones, chief human resources officer, says this project is another way for UAB to give back to the community.

“During our recent climate survey, our faculty and staff rated UAB higher than the national norm — 81 percent to 76 percent — on the question ‘UAB has a good reputation in the community,’” Jones says. “Our faculty and staff have always displayed a commitment to helping others. This school supply drive will help many of the schools hardest hit by the recent tornadoes.”

The school supply need list was developed by Baisden and Samuetta Drew, chief of schools and operations for Birmingham City Schools. It includes traditional items such as binders, crayons, erasers, colored pencils, glue sticks, college-rule loose leaf paper and wide-ruled spiraled notebooks. Other items of need are rubber bands, hand soap, Kleenex tissue, hand sanitizer, Ziploc bags, Lysol spray and school uniform white shirts and navy pants.

Donate supplies to schools

UAB, in partnership with the Birmingham City Schools Board of Education, invites employees to donate supplies to schools affected by the recent tornado from July 22 to Aug. 8. Drop boxes will be set up in buildings throughout campus. Needed supplies are:

• Binders
• Black, blue pens
• College-rule loose leaf paper
• Colored pencils/markers
• Construction paper
• Crayons
• Erasers
• Glue sticks
• Hand sanitizer
• Hand soap
• Invisible tape
• Kleenex tissue
• Lysol spray
• Post-it notes
• Rubber bands
• School uniform navy pants
• School uniform white shirts
• Wide-ruled spiral notebooks
• Ziploc bags (quart and gallon size)

The school uniforms are the most expensive things on the list, and Baisden says they’re not really as expensive as she first thought. The pants sell for approximately $10 and the shirts for $12. All sizes are needed —from kindergarten through high school.

“If someone is going to donate a uniform, it wouldn’t be a huge expense,” Baisden says. “But if you think about some of the families affected by the tornadoes that have multiple children, buying uniforms could be a huge expense for them. It would be a great blessing and a relief for these families to have a little help.”

The sales tax holiday weekend of Aug. 5-7 will occur during the collection period. While Jefferson County will not be participating in the tax holiday, cities in Jefferson County will, including Hoover, Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills. Almost all of the school supplies to be collected for the project are eligible for the tax relief in participating cities.

“The best thing is that most of these supplies are not expensive, so even if your budget is tight, you can still participate,” Baisden says. “When you’re buying pencils, crayons or paper for your child, maybe you can buy an extra pack to donate for this project. Any little thing will help because they need it all.”

Drop boxes will be located throughout campus, including in Faculty Office Towers, the Child Development Center, School of Dentistry, Heritage Hall, Hoehn Engineering Building, Administration Building, Materials Science & Engineering Building (room 254), Medical Towers, Sparks Center, Henry Peters Building, Nursing Building, UAB Police Department, Volker Hall Lobby, Campbell Hall (room 452), Community Health Services Building, Cudworth Hall, Facilities Administration Building, Kaul Building, North Pavilion second floor lobby, Employee Health 123 Spain Wallace, Highlands, VIVA, Kirklin Clinic/HSF and Callahan Eye Hospital.

Building representatives at each donation site will oversee the box at their locations. Business Services will donate a truck and two movers to pick up the supplies to deliver to the Birmingham Board of Education on Aug. 8. The board will then distribute the items to their schools in need.  

“UAB employees are always so generous and gracious when it comes to helping others,” Baisden says. “Our people really care. When disaster strikes so close, we realize it could have been any one of us in need of assistance. So please join us in making this project a massive show of love and support.”

Get Involved

  • Looking to hire students for part-time positions?
    Don't miss the Part-Time Career Fair 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 28 in the Campus Rec Center. Register online or contact Kelli Holmes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    posted 13 days ago 214 views
  • Learn to recognize warning signs of abusive relationships
    Former Police Chief Annetta Nunn will talk about the signs of domestic abuse, barriers that prevent victims from leaving the relationship and resources to assist them at noon July 30 in UAB Hospital West Pavilion Conference Room E. Download the flyer or register online.
    • Event Date July 30
    posted 15 days ago 225 views
  • TEDxBirmingham looks to ‘Move Mountains’ in 2015
    Save the date and nominate a speaker for the next conference at UAB in February.
    posted a while back 259 views
  • Volunteers needed for UAB's prison lecture series
    Any subject that would appeal to a general audience — from Expressionist art and medieval pilgrimage to advances in robotics and Antarctic biology — is well-suited to this series, preparing to enter its 25th year.
    posted a while back 1436 views
  • Days ahead are sew, sew
    Sewing continues May 9 for a giant art installation to adorn the UAB Cultural Corridor. Brooklyn-based Amanda Browder will use Skype to sew alongside volunteers.
    posted a while back 728 views
  • Blazer Bowling kicks off league play with party
    The Blazer Bowling League is a great way to meet people, have fun and help raise money for the UAB Benevolent Fund. This is a 14-week, sanctioned league with cash prizes at the end.
    • Event Date May 6
    posted a while back 822 views
  • Employees helping eighth-graders reach ‘their highest potential’

    Fifteen UAB employees are mentoring eighth-graders from Hayes K-8 School to help pilot a Big Brothers Big Sisters program to improve students’ self-esteem and broaden their horizons.

    posted a while back 1838 views
  • Help us help a student in crisis
    If you believe a student is experiencing a crisis in academic, emotional or social situations and report that to us, we may be able to help find a solution by connecting them with relevant campus resources and outside agencies.
    posted a while back 1010 views
  • WBHM spring fund drive starts April 2
    This is the first of only two membership campaigns for Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM this year, its chief source of funding, and the goal for this campaign is $250,000. Donations may be made by calling 800-444-9246 or online at
    posted a while back 1256 views
  • Benevolent Fund Campaign raises more than $1.7 million

    The 2014 UAB Benevolent Fund campaign is going strong with an unofficial tally of $1,733,688 in total pledges, including continuous donors and one-time gifts. Pledges to-date put the campaign at 93.7 percent of its goal, but campaign donations still are being submitted. 

    posted a while back 1390 views