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Amazon surprises Hillsborough County school with $15,000 in school supplies

Wimauma Elementary is a "Title I" school
Posted at 4:42 PM, Dec 12, 2017

WIMAUMA, Fla. — On the basketball court at Wimauma Elementary on Tuesday morning was stacks of tablets, games, CD players, and some much-needed headphones.

"Ours are all messed up," explains student Michael Meek about the school's computer lab headphones. "The wires are being snapped and some are just breaking in half."

Meek's teacher says you wouldn't believe how quickly these kids go through supplies, and how quickly costs can pile up.

"We've tried the dollar store, ear buds, that kind of thing," explains 5th grade teacher Shawn Robinson. "And those things will just go very quickly."

Well Santa arrived early in an area of Tampa Bay that could really use the extra gifts, and he brought Amazon to help, to the tune of $15,000!

Amazon has a major fulfillment center in neighboring Ruskin, and their general manager sees this donation as a way to give back to their own employees' communities.

"Wimauma and Ruskin are right in our backyard and their parents work with us every day so we're actually helping those who are part of the Amazon family," explains Ruskin Center General Manager Robert Packett to ABC Action News.  

This school was also chosen because most of these students don't have supplies they can bring in from home.

"Over 90 percent of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch so we use a lot of our "Title I" dollars to put devices or supplies that they need in their hands," explains Wimauma Elementary principal Ismael Lebron-Bravo.

Lebron-Bravo hopes this new relationship with Amazon might one day lead to a tour of the Ruskin Fulfillment Center, and give his students a chance to see Amazon as a viable career opportunity.

Amazon is visiting 33 schools across the country and giving away half a million dollars this holiday season.