It is time to start planning for school to start and many kids will not have the supplies they need unless you help Stuff-The-Bus by donating school supplies so kids are ready for the first day of school.

The United Way of Greater Texarkana will host its annual Stuff-The-Bus school supply drive to collect school supplies for needy children in our local schools. The Stuff-The-Bus program is organized and driven by volunteers to assist struggling families in getting necessary supplies for the upcoming school year. As a United Way Program, all donations are tax-deductible.

Items needed:

  • Small backpacks
  • Pencils (#2 with eraser)
  • Ballpoint pens
  • Notebook paper
  • Rulers and protractors
  • Crayons (in box)
  • Pencil sharpeners (small)
  • Construction paper
  • 3-ring binders
  • Highlighters
  • Colored pencils and pens
  • Safety scissors
  • Erasers
  • Glue sticks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Pocket folders

Mark Bledsoe is the President/CEO of the United Way of Greater Texarkana. I asked him what their goals are for this year’s Stuff-The-Bus campaign.

“We'd like to provide supplies for 1,700 back packs this school year but the need is probably closer to the 5,000 mark. Supplies are just so expensive that unfortunately families are left to decide what necessity they can make do without. Is it food, clothing, gas or a combination of items? The Stuff-The-Bus program merely tries to address one of these precious needs. The Stuff-The-Bus program is a vital education program for our region Our school-aged children have to be equipped with the tools necessary to start the year off on the right path. Unfortunately everyone doesn’t have the financial means to purchase these supplies," he said.

That’s where this program fits the need. Groups such as Kiwanis, Rotarians and area businesses that serve as drop off locations provide much needed volunteers annually in support of this program. School supplies will be taken to the Texarkana Resources for the Disabled where volunteers will sort, pack and distribute the backpacks. Students need to contact their respective school counselors to sign up, Bledsoe said.

Stuff-The-Bus Events to make donations and drop off supplies:

Saturday, July 23, 10AM – 2PM:

  • Sonic on Arkansas Boulevard
  • Sonic on Summerhill Road

Saturday, July 30, 10AM – 2PM:

  • Sonic on Richmond Road
  • Sonic on West 7th Street

Saturday, August 6, 9AM – 12PM:

  • Wild About Wellness Health Fair at Four States Fairgrounds Entertainment Center

School Supply Drop-Off Locations:

  • Harte Hanks, 1825 N. Robison Road, Texarkana, Texas
  • TEXAR, all Texarkana locations
  • Christus St. Michael Hospital, 2600 St. Michael Dr., Texarkana, Texas
  • Wadley Regions Medical Center, 1000 Pine St., Texarkana, Texas
  • B. Jaxx, 1401 College Dr., Texarkana, Texas
  • Shelter Insurance, 1600 Arkansas Blvd. Ste 101, Texarkana, Ark.
  • Bancorp South, all Texarkana locations
  • Cooper Tire Plant, 3500 Washington St., Texarkana, Ark.
  • Mr. Speedy Car Care, 4119 N. Stateline Ave., Texarkana, Texas
  • Riggs Cat Equipment Rental, 2400 Trinity Blvd., Texarkana, Ark.
  • Anytime Fitness, 2229 Trinity Blvd., Texarkana, Ark.
  • Regions Bank, all Texarkana locations
  • ORR Classic, 4333 Mall Lane, Texarkana, Texas
  • Wells Fargo locations at 2317 Richmond Rd. Texarkana, Texas; 1301 Arkansas Blvd, Texarkana, Ark.; and 3615 East 9th St., Texarkana, Ark.

For more information call the United Way office at 903-793-5344.