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Drive gathers school supplies
John and Lisa Schilling drop off bags of school supplies at Mountain Lake Church on Sunday. The church had a school bus parked on the campus for church members to donate school supplies as part of the Stuff the Bus effort. - photo by Jim Dean

Thanks to the efforts of many in the community, families that may not have otherwise been able to afford the needed supplies for the first day of school got some help.

Melissa Corliss, director of community impact for the United Way of Forsyth County, said the annual Stuff the Bus school supply drive in late July has garnered more than 17,000 items for children in need.

“It has been very successful,” Corliss said. “We still have a few drives that are remaining, so we should be collecting supplies for the next couple of weeks, but we will certainly exceed what we did last year.”

In 2012, the drive took in about 17,000 items, up from about 13,000 items in 2011.

Corliss said about 22 businesses, churches and civic groups worked with United Way to hold their own collection events. “We’re very grateful to the community every year because this event is always so well supported.”

Most of the items collected were distributed to The Place of Forsyth County for its Aug. 3 backpack event, which provides bags stuffed with supplies to families in financial need.

Corliss said other items have been distributed to Forsyth County Schools’ social workers and teachers, who can give them to students in need throughout the school year.

“We were able to do that for the first time last year and it works out well because those initial supplies don’t last the entire year,” she said.