JACKSON, Mich. — United Way of Jackson County, along with local business and area agencies, are inviting residents to donate school supplies so all children in Jackson County have the tools they need to learn and succeed.
Now in its second year, the Stuff The Bus school supply drive takes place July 29-Aug. 9. Stuff The Bus brings together United Way of Jackson County, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in Jackson County, and the Martin Luther King Community Center. LJ Ross Associates is the presenting sponsor.
Last year’s Stuff The Bus effort netted 10,724 back-to-school items.
“School supplies are a big financial burden for struggling families,” said Ken Toll, President & CEO of United Way of Jackson County. “Stuff The Bus will help those families equip their kids to start the school year ready to learn.”
According to Toll, 42% of households in Jackson County are either in poverty or ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), meaning they struggle to make ends meet. That makes back-to-school needs even tougher financially for these families. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation [nrf.com], the average family expects to spend $117.49 this year on school supplies alone—notebooks, pencils, backpacks, etc.
Stuff The Bus partners will offer a total of 20 drop-off locations across Jackson County. Some will park a school bus at their location so residents can drop off newly purchased school supplies. Drop-off sites include the following:
- United Way of Jackson County office
- Henry Ford Allegiance Health—Cafeteria, One Jackson Square lobby, Orthopedic/Neuroscience Center lobby
- County National Bank—all locations in Jackson County
- CP Federal Credit Union—all locations in Jackson County
- Center for Family Health—medical and dental buildings
- Flagstar Bank—downtown Jackson location
Those who don’t have time to shop can donate by credit card by texting STUFF to 40403, with 100 percent of those gifts going to purchase school supplies.
Items will be distributed to students through local school districts, the upcoming Back to School Bash at the King Center, and the DHHS foster care youth program.
Stuff The Bus will accept the following donated items:
- New backpacks
- Pencil pouches
- Glue sticks and glue bottles
- Markers and Sharpies
- Pencils and erasers
- Pencil sharpeners
- Red pens
- Boxes of tissues (Kleenex, Puffs, etc.)
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfectant wipes
More information is available online at http://www.uwjackson.org/stuff-the-bus/ [uwjackson.org] and on Facebook at facebook.com/uwjacksonMI.
Sponsors of Stuff The Bus include the three partner organizations and presenting sponsor LJ Ross Associates, plus Buffalo Wild Wings, Center for Family Health, County National Bank, CP Federal Credit Union, Flagstar Bank, Henry Ford Allegiance Health, HOME.fm 106.9, JTV, Jackson County Intermediate School District, and Two Men And A Truck.
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