Former schoolmates raise funds for West Tampa Elementary

A group of childhood friends is helping students have a successful school year.

Edda Strickland's band of sisters gather school supplies for students at West Tampa Elementary School.

"It's just giving back to our community paying it forward," Strickland said.

They started raising funds after the group rekindled their childhood relationship 13 years ago.

"Most of us went to West Tampa Junior High School in the '60s," Strickland said.

Myrain Boyer says it has been a blast.

"When we met, it's like old home week and it's just a lot of fun," Boyer said.

They decided they wanted to do more than just go out to dinner. So they started collecting money for their former school.

"We help them out by giving them donations for the library or music instruments or whatever they might need," said Strickland.

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Valerie Acton says the mission is simple: "It was a matter of getting together with old friends that you don't see all the time and just giving back to the community."

1,200 students will be given school supplies this year thanks to their social media efforts.

"Made it easier for people to donate funds instead of going out shopping, although I like to go out and shop, even for school supplies," said Strickland.