Forsyth County is one of the state’s most affluent, so it is sometimes easy to forget that not every household rests on a firm financial footing. But there are many in the county who fit the definition of needy in one sense or the other, and the current economic woes of the nation have led to an increase in those numbers.
That’s why it’s important for local residents to help "Stuff the Bus" over the next two weekends.
"Stuff the Bus" is an initiative of the United Way of Forsyth County. The program’s goal is to help provide school supplies for students who need them. The timing of the campaign coincides with the opening of the 2011-12 school year, which is only a few weeks away.
Melissa Corliss, community impact director for the United Way, said the effort to collect supplies for needy youngsters brought in more than 7,000 items last year. This is the third year of the Stuff the Bus effort.
Those wanting to help donate school supplies will find it easy to do. A school bus will be parked at both of the county’s Walmart locations, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 23 and July 30. If you find yourself shopping for school supplies for your youngsters, pick up an extra item or two for someone less fortunate and leave it in the bus.
The hope is that donors will fill the bus with pencils, pens, binders, notebooks, safety scissors, book bags, flash drives, crayons, markers, notebook paper and the many other school supplies needed on a daily basis in county classrooms.
All items collected through the Stuff the Bus drive will be donated to the county schools and to The Place, which will then give them to families facing hard times.
Not convinced of the need? According to state records, nearly 20 percent of the students in Forsyth County schools qualified for free or reduced price lunches in the last school year, one telling measure of socioeconomic need in the community.
Stuff the Bus is a great way for entire groups — churches, civic clubs, Scouts etc. — to work together to help students in the county. For more information, call the United Way office.