Gavin and Ava Grant of Margate are collecting school supplies again this year.

MARGATE – Two former Eugene A. Tighe Middle School graduates who are currently students at Holy Spirit High School are giving back to the community by collecting school supplies for those who need them.

Ava Grant, a sophomore at HSHS, and her younger brother Gavin, who will be a freshman, said they realized last summer when shopping for the upcoming school year how much their parents actually spend on school supplies.

“It’s a lot, and some people might not be able to afford it,” Ava Grant said. “That’s when we decided to give back to our community and help those who cannot afford to buy school supplies.”

They posted that they were collecting school supplies on their personal Facebook pages and put a laundry basket on the front porch.

“It filled up pretty quickly and as summer went on, we kept getting more. At the end of the summer, we dropped them off to the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City,” she said.

“The woman at the Boys and Girls Club was so appreciative,” mom Tracy Ann said. “We called it the ‘magic basket,’ because every morning we’d put out the empty laundry basket and at the end of the day, it was filled. It was very emotional.”

Although both teens shunned recognition for their good deeds, they want to get the word out that they are collecting school supplies again this year – still using the magic basket, but also at Tighe School.

“I talked to Superintendent Dr. Baruffi before the end of the school year and asked if we could put a flyer in the Wednesday folder that goes home to parents,” Gavin Grant said. “He said yes and allowed us to put a box at the Tighe School. We collect it every few weeks.”

Gavin Grant with the school supplies he and his sister Ava collected last year.

Gavin Grant said this year’s drive, which has more than a month to go, is going even better than last year when they filled the trunk of their mom’s car with school supplies.

“We’re going to collect until mid-September and then bring it to the Boys and Girls Club,” he said.

Tracy Ann Grant said they are expecting to have enough supplies to deliver to other organizations or schools if they need them.

Items collected last year even included lunch boxes and Thermos bottles, she said.

“It was like Christmas morning every day. It’s unbelievable how much people contributed,” she said. “The donations increased as the summer progressed. It was like parents were shopping for school supplies for two kids and wound up buying for four.”

The Grants are collecting any supplies students may need for school, such as bookbags, pens, pencils, paper clips, Post-it notes, notepads, loose leaf paper, pencil cases and the like.

“We can even pick up the supplies if you can’t drop them off on our porch or at the school,” Tracy Ann Grant said.

“I like what we are doing because we in Margate have a lot to give to people less fortunate than ourselves,” Gavin Grant said.

Ava Grant relayed the same sentiment but focused on what she’s learned at HSHS.

“I had an amazing freshman year. Going to Holy Spirit has been enlightening. Everyone helps out there, and when I learned that someone might not have the ability to purchase supplies, it was an easy thing for us to do,” she said.

Former director of the Atlantic City Boys & Girls Club Maryann McElroy Kinghorn with Gavin Grant, now a freshman at Holy Spirit High School.

Tracy Ann Grant said that she is proud of her children for caring about others.

“They were exposed to doing community service when they were at Tighe School. But I’m even prouder because this is something they thought of on their own in the car on the way home from Staples,” she said.

Anyone interested in donating school supplies can email tracyann428@gmail.com for the location or drop them off at the Tighe School. Anyone interested in obtaining the school supplies for their school or organization can call Tracy Ann Grant at 609-226-5886.