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Preparations begin to Stuff the Bus
School supply drive aids families in need
Bus WEB 1
This years Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive will be at two local Walmarts from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 21 and 28. - photo by File photo

At a glance

• What: United Way of Forsyth County’s Annual Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive

• When: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. July 21 and 28

• Where: The Walmarts at 1500 Market Place Blvd. and 5455 Atlanta Hwy.

• Contact: (770) 781-4110 or

While students are enjoying their summer break, parents likely are thinking about getting ready for the return to school.

As a way to help out families who may not be able to afford much-needed items, the United Way of Forsyth County is again seeking donations for its Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive.

Melissa Corliss, director of community impact with the organization, said businesses and residents are asked to collect school supplies such as pens, pencils, crayons, notebook paper and folders.

“We’ve got organizations and businesses collecting supplies during the month of July, and then the [school] buses will be at the two local Walmarts on July 21 and 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.,” she said.

“Those will be the drop sites if individuals and companies want to drop the supplies they’ve collected with the bus.”

The buses will be parked at the Walmart on Market Place Boulevard in Cumming and on Atlanta Highway in Midway.

Corliss said the retail stores are the perfect location for the drive.

“We appreciate Walmart’s support by letting us be there and have that visibility,” she said. “People are in there buying their school supplies typically anyway and we’ve found people will buy a couple extra things and drop them in the bus on their way out.”

Corliss said this will be the fourth year for the supply drive.

“The first year we started with [collecting] around 3,000 items and it’s grown each year up until last year when we collected 12,000 items,” she said.

“It has grown with businesses and individuals having done some little drives in their neighborhoods, so we’ve had some wonderful community support from civic organizations like Rotary Clubs and women’s clubs, and of course our local businesses are great to help us as well.”

She hopes to top last year’s collections.

“If we can just get folks out there collecting that will be wonderful,” she said.

All supplies donated to the drive will be given to The Place of Forsyth County for its annual distribution Aug. 4, the Saturday before the first day of school, which is Aug. 9, Corliss said.

“Then the remainder will go to the school social workers as they see the need,” she added, noting that the drive has become important in recent years.

“The downtown in the economy has had a huge effect on a lot of families, and just having this help to give their kids the tools they need to start school with is just so important.

“It’s an easy way to help get those kids off on the right track.”