Devoted United Way volunteers braved scorching temperatures Saturday in the parking lot of Walmart. Why? Because they believe in helping others, especially school age children in need of simple school supplies.
“We’ve had a tremendous response,” said Margaret Plettinger Mitchell of United Way for Chesterfield County. “It’s truly been a collaborative effort. We couldn’t have done all of this by ourselves.”
Mitchell estimates more than $1,500 worth of school supplies, filling nearly 35 banker’s boxes, were donated Saturday. “We also received 20 book bags and more than a case of copy paper,” said Mitchell.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the support and very grateful for the generosity of our citizens,” said Mitchell.
United Way volunteers joined forces with community businesses throughout the Pee Dee this past Saturday to sponsor six drop-off sites for the “Stuff the Bus” project statewide. The project plans to offer school supplies for classrooms without enough state budget support for necessary items.
In addition to the bus that was parked in front of Walmart, “we had other local merchants to offer their businesses as drop-off sites,” Mitchell said. Among those were Classic Hair Design, The Hair Port and Professional Cleaners.
Mitchell estimates school supplies for each child in Chesterfield County to be around $100 per year. And according to current statistics, she says 70 percent of those same students are on free or reduced lunch. The success of this project will enable us to “lift the burden of school supplies” for some families and classrooms this fall, Mitchell said.
Anyone who may have missed the opportunity to stuff the bus is encouraged to donate supplies to their child’s school, said Mitchell. Guidance workers at the school can help with distribution for those students or classrooms with the greatest needs.