United Way Stuff the Bus school supply drive underway

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The United Way of Cullman County’s “Stuff the Bus” bus will be located in the parking lot on the south side of the Cullman County Courthouse along U.S. Highway 31 through July 24. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – United Way of Cullman County (UWCC) kicked off its fourth annual “Stuff the Bus” school supply drive Friday, encouraging shoppers headed out for the tax-free weekend to pick up school supplies and drop them off at the bus, located in the parking lot on the south side of the Cullman County Courthouse, or at other locations around town with specially marked yellow school bus boxes.

UWCC Resource Development Specialist Carol Berry explained, “This is an event that we have been doing for the last three years. We’ve partnered with Cullman County Schools and Cullman City Schools, and we collect school supplies and other things that children might need throughout the school year, and give that to the central offices.”

UWCC, through the project, provides the school supplies, while teachers and counselors- who see the needs from day to day- will determine how to distribute them.

UWCC Executive Director Becky Goff said, “Three years ago, school counselors reached out to us, asking for assistance to provide school supplies and other resources to kids who came to school unprepared. United Way responded by creating Stuff the Bus. By partnering with the schools, they can better identify students who need our help with school supplies. These supplies help all kids K through 12 as determined by their counselors or teachers, and will be distributed throughout the year.”

Stuff the Bus is an all-volunteer project. Among those individuals and organizations who have already signed up to staff the bus at the courthouse are:

  • Sheriff Matt Gentry and deputies from the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office
  • Cullman County Commission Chairman-Elect Jeff “Clem” Clemons
  • Cullman Area Technology Academy Principal Billy Troutman
  • Good Hope and Vinemont cheerleaders
  • Restoring Women Outreach
  • Pilot Club of Cullman
  • Town of Vinemont
  • Eckenrod Ford
  • Walmart

 

If a volunteer is not at the bus, a box will be available for donations.

Other drop-off locations for supplies include: Church of the Nazarene, Man Cave Market at Vinemont, Comfort Care Hospice, Louisiana Pacific, Lavish Boutique, Payroll Services, Eckenrod Ford, Chick-fil-A and Jack’s.

Take advantage of Alabama’s 15th Annual Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, happening now through Sunday, July 19 at 11:59 p.m., during which time the State will forego its 4% sales or use tax on items commonly purchased for students. All eligible municipalities in Cullman County have also waived their sales tax for the holiday. Contact UWCC at 256-739-2948 to volunteer, sponsor the event or donate supplies. Checks can be mailed to United Way of Cullman county, P.O. Box 116, Cullman, Alabama 35056.

UWCC’s 2020 Stuff the Bus campaign is sponsored by River Valley Ingredients, Publix, Peoples Bank, The UPS Store and Merchants Bank.

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com