DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Students at Radium Springs Elementary School received a special surprise on Tuesday.
The tornado that hit on January 22nd destroyed much of the surrounding neighborhood, leaving many students there displaced.
But on Tuesday, students were all smiles after a local bank made a delivery.
It started off with an assembly line, employees at SB&T bank stuffed nearly 600 backpacks for students at Radium Springs Elementary School one by one.
"We have stuffed the book bags with hygiene kits, school supply kits and a teddy bear which is a sign of comfort," said SB&T Chief Executive officer Pam Simmons.
The bank has an ongoing partnership with the school. It has been the school's partner of excellence since 1988.
When employees saw the impact the tornado had on the school, they wanted to help.
"My team wanted to get together and come up with something to do for these children," said Simmons.
The bank provided the items inside. The backpacks themselves were donated from San Francisco Giants catcher and Leesburg native Buster Posey.
After preparing all of the backpacks, employees loaded the truck and made a special delivery to 2400 Roxanna Road.
Radium Springs principal Bruce Bowles said the kids were ready.
"They've been excited because I've told them all week, I've got some book bags coming from SB&T," said Bowles.
When the anticipated moment came, there was nothing but smiles and words of thanks coming from the students.
Bowles said the outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming.
"It's been great to see how many people care about our kids," said Bowles.
The backpacks aren't new homes, but for most kids they are a glimpse of hope in what's been a tough month.
"Most of them lost everything they had. So many did. It gives them a sign of comfort and something to hold on to," said Simmons.