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Organizers: Still room on the bus

Annual 'stuff' drive on track to top 2011

POSTED: August 1, 2012 7:30 p.m.
Jim Dean/

Bridgett, right and Michaela Calhoun hand Colin Denlea a sack of school supplies during the Stuff the Bus challenge at Mountain Lake Church on Sunday. Along with collecting donations from the public, the United Way joined with a number of community groups who sought donations for students in need.

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Melissa Corliss has been “knee-deep in school supplies” this week.

The director of community impact with the United Way of Forsyth County said the supplies came from the organization’s fourth annual Stuff the Bus drive, which was held July 21 and 28.

Two school buses were parked at the Walmart locations on Market Place Boulevard and Atlanta Highway, and the public was encouraged to “stuff” them with pencils, paper, crayons and other needed materials.

“It’s looking really good,” Corliss said of the amount of supplies collected. “Right now we’re literally knee-deep in supplies. It’s a great problem to have.”

While Corliss said it would be a while before final totals from the drive were known, she said it appears this year’s event will top last year’s, which collected some 12,000 items.

In its first year, the drive gathered 3,000 items.

“It has grown every year and we seem to get just a little bit more every year,” she said, noting the event draws donations from a range of groups as well as individuals.

“We get a huge supply from businesses, civic groups and churches,” she said.

This year, she said, about 25 such organizations contributed to the cause.

Corliss noted that supplies likely will continue to come into the United Way office for a few more weeks.

“Some civic groups don’t meet in the summer, so they collect at their first meeting, and then we get supplies from Publix and their drive runs through the 12th [of August],” she said. “So we’ll continue to get supplies probably through the 15th or so.”

All donations received will go to The Place of Forsyth County and public school system social workers, who will distribute them to families in need.

Corliss said she’s glad the community continues to support the cause each year.

“We always have individuals that drop things by [the United Way office], put things on the bus,” she said. “We’ve had kids do school supply drives in their neighborhoods, so it’s a real community effort.

“To see the little kids bring their boxes of crayons and put them on the bus, it’s really a great thing.”

 

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