Back to school season is nearly here, and Channel 3 was able to gear up to help children in need, with the help of its viewers.

The 3Cares Back-to-School Supply Drive kicked off on Thursday morning at the Channel 3 studios in Rocky Hill, and ended at 5:30 p.m.

Folks were dropping by all day, donating an abundance of supplies.

"[I said I'm] on my way to work, let me gather some stuff, and come over and give it," said Tricia Irizarry o New Britain. "Great way to give back to the community."

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Station staff and talent was outside to collect the generous donations since 5:30 a.m.

Take a look at the photos!

Students could use items such as backpacks, pens, pencils, erasers, big wide ruled notebooks, college ruled notebooks and pencil/ruler/sharpener kits.

All donations will be brought to Hartford Public Schools.

"For the past five years, we've been working directly with you guys and this has been very helpful for us," said Shelimar Ramirez, program coordinator, Hartford Welcome Center. "Every year, we have more cuts and every year we have more families in need. So, once we receive the donations, we distribute to the schools and the families who need them."

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"Last year we filled 5 MINI Coopers with donations thanks to our generous neighbors and partnerships with Staples and Channel 3,” said Sam Herman, sales manager for New Country MINI. “Our goal each year is to surpass last year’s collection, and each time we have well exceeded that amount."

Staples locations are also accepting donations. MINIs will be parked at the following locations:

Bishops Corner, 2550 Albany Ave. in West Hartford Putnam Bridge Plaza 49 Putnam Blvd. in Glastonbury Berlin Turnpike in Newington Tri-City Plaza in Vernon

“Each August when all of those MINI Coopers pull up crammed with school supplies, we are able to give hundreds of students the tools they need to start the year off right,” said Marta Bentham, director of family services & ombudsman of Hartford Public Schools’ Welcome Center. “New Country has become a valued community partner and we can’t thank them enough for their continued support.”

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