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'Mimi's Mission' delivers school supplies for entire elementary school

Barb Jankowski collected enough school supplies to cover every student at Webb Elementary in Franklin.

FRANKLIN, Ind. — A couple of weeks ago, we told you about a local grandma, a "Mimi," who spent months buying school supplies for students in Franklin.

Now, there's a great update - she bought and collected enough supplies for every child in every grade at Webb Elementary School.

At the school in Franklin Wednesday, it was like Christmas morning. Packages ripped open, tape torn off, people digging through tissue paper to see what's wrapped inside.

"It's exciting for us just to unload it all because we're like, 'Oh, what's in this box?'" exclaimed PTO president and first grade teacher Emily Barger.

Teachers and parents spent the morning opening box after box of school supplies.

The entire lot, which filled the entire lobby at Webb, is a gift from the garage of not-so-secret Santa Barb Jankowski. This "Mimi" made it her mission to buy and collect supplies for the entire school.

Delivery day, they say, was exciting.

"It was completely overwhelming. That truck was filled," Barger said.

Credit: WTHR
Franklin-based Winters Heating and Cooling donated a box truck and workers to help deliver the school supplies.

Winters Heating and Cooling, based in Franklin, donated the box truck and staff to haul it all in.

"It's a tremendous blessing really, it is," said PTO secretary and parent Jonalyn Palmer.

"We are so thankful for Barb," Barger added. "Without 'Mimi,' we couldn't do this. I mean teachers would have to spend a lot more out of their pocket and families, too!"

RELATED: 'Mimi' on a mission to provide school supplies to students at Franklin elementary school

At Webb, there is no school supply list this year, except for headphones. Every kid has the same tools to succeed - all at no cost.

"The feeling of having to go to the store and pick out every single item and making sure it's the right one? That's gone. Or the overwhelming feeling of how can a parent or families afford this? Especially if you have multiple children," Palmer said.

Credit: WTHR

"Some families are just getting by. COVID? I mean people have had less hours at work and things like that. So just being able to give a student a new bookbag is a huge, the smile on their face is worth it," Barger said. "They come to school and they realize that, 'Oh, they have all the same supplies as I do!' There's not a student who has better supplies or a better book bag or things like that so it draws us together."

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So does the excitement of sorting and stacking all these classroom gifts, knowing thanks to a generous "Mimi," all kids have to do now is show up and learn.

"Yep, just show up," Barger said with a smile, "and we're ready for them!"

Mimi's mission goes beyond one elementary school.

She's collecting supplies for even more students, with a goal of eventually supplying entire school districts.

You can help. Contact Jankowski through her Facebook group.