Thanks to local businesses and the public, more than 2,800 Bucks County students will have the supplies and backpacks they need to start the school year.
The large common room at Sesame Place’s office building in Middletown was filled with volunteers helping pack school bags with supplies Thursday as part of the United Way of Bucks County’s Stuff the Bus event.
Danielle Bush of the United Way said more than 180 people from numerous community groups and employers volunteered to stuff the bags and help sort supplies last week at the Fairless Hills Fire Company hall. The supplies were transported by two buses from the Lower Bucks Family YMCA from the hall to Sesame Place.
The backpacks, which come filled with age-appropriate school supplies, will be distributed throughout Bucks County’s 13 school districts, the Intermediate Unit, service groups and religious schools, Bush said.
Marissa Christie, CEO of the local United Way, said there were close to 3,000 requests for bags this year and unfortunately not all needs can be met. The growth likely comes from multiple factors, including adding more partners who help spread the word.
“I think more people are aware of the project and realizing this is an option rather than sending kids to school without supplies,” Bush said.
Parents and students who have benefited from the generosity of others have given the program rave reviews and, in the past, have even come to help other families once their situation improves.
Bush said one of the most rewarding parts of her job is seeing the excitement from students who received bags from Stuff the Bus.
“The pride and excitement when they look in the bag and are ready to learn,” she said.
While the time for donations has ended, Bush said the United Way is still collecting monetary donations for the program and will try to fulfill outstanding requests. Donations can be made via their website.