CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The last day for Channel 9's annual School Tools collection is ending Friday.
For weeks, Channel 9 has been collecting school supplies for children who would otherwise go without them.
In this Family Focus, a mother and son talked about how much the donations mean to their family.
Thirteen-year-old Christopher Butts was already back to class at Thomasboro Academy -- a year-round school in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools system.
He said being prepared is the first step to making the grade.
"It makes me participate, stay active and all that," he said.
Christopher made the honor roll last year and his mother Christina couldn't be prouder.
"To see him accomplish all the things that I kind of slacked on coming up in school -- that is like so awesome," she said.
Christopher is the oldest of Christina's four children.
She said it's not always easy buying all the supplies needed as a mother who works full time.
She's thankful for the help that Communities in Schools and Classroom Central provides by teaming up with Channel 9 to collect in the School Tools campaign.
"Without them, my children wouldn't be half of where they're at today,” Christina said. “So this school year is going to be a success."
Kian Furnace with Communities in Schools said the donations help parents who also need to focus on buying other necessities such as school clothes.
"The kids are so excited,” Furnace said. “They're so appreciative. The parents are gracious beyond measure with the opportunities that these school supplies provide their families."
Christopher said having his backpack full of what he needs for seventh grade puts all kids on a level playing field.
"It makes us like, kind of like the same because we all have the same supplies the same material, so we all can get the work done,” Chistopher said.
"When they have the things that they're supposed to have, they just perform that much better," Furnace said.
There's still time to donate supplies to those in need. Donate supplies at any local Showmars or Ashley Furniture Homestore.
For details, go to www.9SchoolTools.com.