Last Tuesday, the United Way of Lee County kicked off its annual school supply drive, Stuff the Bus. Stuff the Bus serves K-12 children in Auburn City, Opelika City and Lee County schools by providing them school supplies their families are unable to finance.
Chandler Williams, community initiatives coordinator for United Way of Lee County, said the program started when families calling in need of school supplies became an increasingly regular occurence.
“We realized that United Way really needed to step in,” Williams said. “And then it’s just kind of grown each year into more of a drive.”
There are other United Ways around the country that hold school supply drives, Williams said, but Stuff the Bus is solely a United Way of Lee County program.
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“It’s evolved over time within our county to meet our county’s needs,” Williams said.
United Way is collecting expected supplies such as paper, pencils, composition notebooks and other materials of the sort.
“Really anything that would be on a school supply list,” Williams said.
Last year, United Way of Lee County distributed supplies to 526 children.
United Way also accepts supplies teachers need such as dry erase markers and paper towels.
“Those are all divided between the three school systems and given to the schools,” Williams said.
Williams said many families who receive supplies are working parents who were prepared to purchase school supplies but were faced with an unanticipated expense like a car or home repair.
Another common situation is grandparents, aunts and uncles that have taken in relatives in a last-minute or emergency situation and were not prepared to pay for school supplies.
“There’s lots of situations like that,” Williams said.
The majority of collection locations will have boxes out through the 27th, Williams said, but United Way of Lee County will be accepting drop-off donations anytime before school starts.
Current collection locations include:
Auburn Chamber of Commerce
Dean and Barrett
The Harris Center
Massey Family Chiropractic
Muncie & Mattson
Scott Holley State Farm
Auburn Therapy and Learning Center
Drake Martin State Farm
Huff Smith Law Firm
National Bank of Commerce
Office of Alumni Affairs Auburn University
River Bank & Trust
John Emerald Distilling Company
Opelika Chamber of Commerce
Open Door Tabernacle
APR, LLC. (employee drive)
Realty South (employee drive)
Briggs & Stratton (employee drive)
Pharmavite (employee drive)
Rexnord Industries (employee drive)
Publix - Moores Mill and Cary Creek
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