Now in its ninth year, the United Way Stuff the Bus campaign will help 3,500 children go to school with proper supplies. Volunteers are organizing the boxes of donations Monday and Tuesday this week to prepare for the big event.

Residents and businesses in Bucks County have been collecting donations for Stuff the Bus since mid-July. Thanks to their efforts, this is looking like the largest year yet.

Stuff the Bus 2018.
Danielle Bush speaks to the first wave of volunteers at Westaby Hall for Stuff the Bus 2018. Photo by Rick Rickman.

All the effort will finally end with a bang on Aug. 22 at Westaby Hall in Fairless Hills. 250 volunteers will help put pencils, notebooks, and other items into a backpack for a child.

With some estimates of school supplies for the year reaching $700, going back to school in the fall is expensive. But without any assistance, UWBucks Director of Community Health Tim Philpot says many families would not be able to afford a fraction of that cost.

“For many families who struggle to pay rent on a monthly basis, they don’t have the money to spare,” Philpot said. “We want to make sure that the kids we’re serving are really getting a chance to go back to school and start on par with their peers.”

One mother of two children who wished to remain anonymous emphasized how grateful she was to UWBucks for their help.

“We had hit a rough patch those last few months and the school bags were a huge help. Knowing my kids could start school with the necessities was a great feeling.”

Donations are still being accepting at Westaby Hall Monday and Tuesday.