“Stuff the Bus” will pack 3,500 backpacks this year
United Way of Bucks County is seeking donations of school supplies and volunteers for its annual back to school supply drive, Stuff the Bus. The organization plans to assemble 3,500 backpacks full of school supplies for children from low-income families in Bucks County.
The campaign, which kicked off on July 15, will culminate in a “backpack-a-thon” on August 22nd at Westaby Hall in Fairless Hills. Over 250 volunteers will fill backpacks for about 6 hours. School Districts, private schools, and United Way non-profit member agencies will distribute the backpacks to children in need.
Wells Fargo is the presenting sponsor for Stuff the Bus. BB&T, Bank of America, Bay Sales, LLC., Comcast, Cummins, Fairless Hills Fire Department, First National Bank and Trust Co. of Newtown, PECO, and Sesame Place are also sponsors. Non-profit organizations collaborating with United Way of Bucks County on this project include Bucks County Housing Group, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County, YWCA Bucks County, and Catholic Social Services.
Now in its 9th year, Stuff the Bus is another way that UW Bucks helps bridge the financial gap for low-income families. Alice (not her real name) who received backpacks last year for her two children said, “We had hit a rough patch those last few months and the school bags were a huge help. Knowing my kids could start school with the necessities was a great feeling.”
According to the National Retailers Federation, back to school supplies are expected to cost more than ever before this year. The average family will spend nearly $700 per child, including school supplies, clothes and shoes. Danielle Bush, Stuff the Bus project coordinator says this overburdens the budgets of many lower-income households. “When a family is struggling to pay their rent, they’re probably not going to spend money on back-to-school supplies. This drive makes sure that children from those families have what they need to go back to school equipped to learn,” she says.
There are several ways residents can help Stuff the Bus. Individual donations can be made online to support the drive at check, mailed to United Way of Bucks County at 413 Hood Blvd, Fairless Hills, PA 19030, with Stuff the Bus written in the memo line. Donations of new school supplies will be accepted at Westaby Hall, 425 Hood Blvd in Fairless Hills on August 12th and 13th from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. People interested in volunteering to help Stuff the Bus on August 15th, 21st and 22nd.