United Way preparing for annual back-to-school supply drive

Look for this bus box at local businesses to contribute supplies even before the drive officially begins. (Courtesy of Becky Goff)

CULLMAN, Ala. – After success last year, United Way of Cullman County (UWCC) has announced its second annual “Stuff the Bus” school supply drive will take place July 19-26, starting on the tax-free back-to-school shopping weekend.

Tuesday, UWCC Executive Director Becky Goff told The Tribune that last year’s drive took in 11,000 items at an estimated value of $8,000-10,000.  Additionally, donors gave $700 in cash, which was used to create a discretionary fund for school administrators to use in helping needy students during the school year.

The official dates of the drive may be a month away, but folks can help out now by dropping off supplies or monetary contributions at:

  • UWCC office in the Old Depot at Depot Park, 304 First Ave. NE in Cullman
  • The Cullman Tribune, 219 Second Ave. SE
  • Warren Averett CPA and Advisors, 501 Fifth St. SW
  • Rusken Packaging, 64 Walnut St. NW
  • The UPS Store, 1236 Cullman Shopping Center NW
  • First Community Bank, 420 Second Ave. SW

Also look for boxes at Tyson Foods, Wal-Mart Distribution Center #6006 and Wallace State Community College in Hanceville.  (See contact information at the end of this article if you would like for your business to be a collection point.)

Supplies needed include:

  • Number 2 pencils
  • Glue sticks
  • Rulers
  • Index cards
  • Graph paper
  • 1-inch and 2-inch three-ring binders
  • Crayons
  • Zippered pencil cases
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Colored pencils
  • Composition notebooks
  • Red, blue, and black pens
  • Erasers
  • Safety scissors
  • Loose-leaf notebook paper

In a press release announcing the drive, Goff wrote:

“Sending a student back to school with the necessary school supplies that they need can be very stressful for parents with limited resources.  We believe that every child should have the tools they need to succeed, and we are asking for the community to help make that happen.

“This event will bring our community together to support local students from low-income families.  UWCC focuses on education, financial stability and health, the building blocks for a good life and a strong community.  Education is the cornerstone of those three pillars and will help them start the year with the supplies they need.  The ‘Stuff-the-Bus’ program is a critical piece to (ensuring) a child has the tools needed to flourish.”

You can mail a donation check to United Way of Cullman County, 304 First Ave. NE, Cullman, AL 35056 designated for school supplies.

For more information, or if you or your business would like to participate, contact UWCC at 256-739-2948 or mdingler@uwaycc.org.

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W.C. Mann