Stuff The Bus Helps Students Start School Year Off Right
Oskaloosa, Iowa – Your opinion on school starting soon may vary, but the community once again came together to help “Stuff The Bus” with school supplies, which is now in it’s third year.
Operation Backpack is a county program that provides backpacks and supplies to school children in need. The program was started by the local Salvation Army in an effort to help families in need get the supplies needed to send their youngsters back to school. Today, it costs nearly $50.00 to buy the needed school supplies such as paper, crayons and rulers.
United Way of Mahaska County is partnering again with SIEDA and the Salvation Army to make sure students have the tools they need to succeed. In order to help fill all those backpacks, “Stuff The Bus” was developed to help raise awareness and bring in needed supplies. Businesses and retailers displayed the boxes, with many holding competitions internally to see who could raise the most.
Lindsey Sheets, Marketing and Event Coordinator for United Way of Mahaska County, said that 49 boxes were dispersed throughout the community at over 30 locations. A few of those had multiple boxes, which lead to the friendly competitions.
Sheets said that some locations offered incentives to customers for donating to the back-to-school effort. “We were excited to hear about that,” said Sheets.
Last year, just over 500 students were helped by the program. The hope is that the need for the service goes down, “but if it’s there, we hope to meet it,” Sheets said of the program. “If there’s 500 who need it, we want to match that.”