United Way set to ‘stuff the bus’ with school supplies

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Homeschooled students were invited to help decorate the donation boxes on Friday. (Heather Mann for The Tribune)

CULLMAN – With school starting back, the cost of supplies can quickly add up and overwhelm some families, especially those with multiple children. To help combat this, United Way of Cullman County (UWCC) is rolling out a new program: Stuff the Bus!

From July 30-Aug. 3, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. each day, a school bus will be parked in the south parking lot of the Cullman County Courthouse (500 Second Ave. SW) for people to donate any extra school supplies they might have. Smaller donation boxes (all decorated like school buses) will also be set up around the county.

The supplies being asked for are basic school necessities, such as:

– no. 2 pencils and erasers

– glue sticks

– rulers

– index cards

– notebook paper and graph paper

– colored pencils and crayons

– ringed binders (from 1" to 3")

– red, blue and black ink pens

– composition notebooks

– zippered pencil cases

– hand sanitizer

– safety scissors

This list will also be posted on all donation boxes. The boxes will be located at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center, Rusken Packaging, Inc., Wallace State Community College, Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors, The UPS Store of Cullman and American Proteins, Inc., all of whom helped partner with UWCC to sponsor the program.

DeAnn McDonald, administrative assistant for UWCC, supervised the decoration of the boxes Friday morning.

"This our first year doing this," she stated. "We got the idea from some other United Ways who've done it and been successful, so we thought we'd give it a try. We're hoping to get the word out before the tax-free weekend (July 20-22) so that people who wouldn't normally need to buy school supplies could help out with the cause tax-free."

The donations will benefit students from city schools, county schools and homeschooling groups. Resources will be divided among the schools based on the number of students, and the schools themselves will be in charge of handing out the supplies as they see fit.

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