John McMillin: Publix and its customers donate tons of school supplies

John McMillin • Updated Oct 10, 2017 at 6:00 PM

There is one aspect of my job that I really love. Actually, there are several, but one really stands out, and it has to do with witnessing real generosity. Several years ago, we were lucky enough to receive our first Publix store. To say Publix supports United Way is an understatement. In actuality, Publix supports United Way and a host of other programs that in turn support our neighborhoods.

It’s a company-wide belief that comes from the top down and is as old as the Publix name. The belief is that giving back to the community is not just good for your business, it’s vital to your business, a moral obligation to your fellow man, and is an investment in the very people who support your business.

Recently, in my role at United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland, I was again able to help deliver school supplies to some local schools, which were much needed. The supplies came from Publix and their annual customer drive to purchase several pallets of crayons, glue, paper, notebooks, pencils, markers, scissors, pens, folders and more.

Every year, in working with UWWUC, we encounter many people who struggle to come up with these much needed school supplies. This year, as in previous years, Publix stepped up to help. Our local Publix stores, three of them in Wilson County, asked their customers to participate in purchasing much needed supplies for our county’s children.  I worked with the Lebanon store and assistant manager James Wheeler to deliver three full truckloads, several thousand dollars in value, of much-needed supplies. Once again, it was like Christmas for some of the excited and surprised school staff who had no idea that Publix would be delivering so many supplies to help so many children in Wilson County. 

For me it was, again, a pleasure to work with the Publix company and its employees in seeing the joy of helping so many people. Join me in shopping locally and thanking the people who support our communities.   

John McMillin is president of United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland. Email him at [email protected]

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