Greater Ottawa County United Way is hosting its fourth annual Stuff the Bus school supply collection drive from Monday, July 25 – Monday, August 8. Community members are invited to donate school supplies and backpacks for local kids at Fifth Third Bank locations in Ottawa County, Macatawa Bank locations in Ottawa County, at Loutit District Library, the Holland Museum, WHTC Radio (87 Central Ave., Holland) and Schreur Printing (10861 Paw Paw Dr., Holland). Donations can also be made by texting BUS to 30306.


Supplies needed include: Backpacks, #2 pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners, colored pencils, pencil boxes/pouches, highlighters, pens - red, black and blue, scissors (for elementary age), wide-rule spiral notebooks, college-rule spiral notebooks, notebook paper, glue sticks, fine tip blue/black dry erase markers, black Expo markers, folders with pockets and prongs, two-pocket folders, 1 inch 3-ring binders and water bottles.


At the end of August, Stuff the Bus backpacks full of school supplies will be distributed to local kids in need. Students can pick up a backpack in Grand Haven on Tuesday, August 30 from 4:30pm-5:30pm at The Salvation Army located at 310 N. Despelder St. For the Grand Haven pick-up, students need to be pre-registered to receive a backpack. Pre-registration takes place at The Grand Haven Salvation Army through August 12 during office hours. Please bring ID (birth certificate or social security card).


Students can also pick up a backpack in at The Holland Salvation Army located at 104 Clover St. Please make an appointment at The Salvation Army from July 25 - August 5. Please bring a photo ID, social security card, social security numbers for all household members, and proof of income. Call the Salvation Army at (616) 392-4461 to set up your appointment.


United Way's Director of Volunteerism Shannon LaHaie said, “Last fall, our Stuff the Bus drive yielded more than $24,000 in school supplies, which meant we were able to provide nearly 1,000 backpacks to kids in need. However, there were still kids on the waiting list who were not able to receive a much-needed backpack. So, we’re hoping to gather even more supplies and backpacks this year.”


Stuff the Bus is a collaboration of Greater Ottawa County United Way, The Salvation Army and Grand Haven Area Public Schools. Two Men and a Truck supplies the collection boxes and helps drop off and pick up boxes during the drive.


Companies hosting in-house Stuff the Bus drives include: Loutit District Library, Woodward, Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, Fifth Third Bank, Macatawa Bank, Flex, Tennant, Davenport University, Holland Museum, WHTC Radio, Transmatic, Community Mental Health of Ottawa County, Grand Haven High School, North Ottawa Community Health System, Department of Health and Human Services, Automatic Spring Products Corp., Schreur Printing and Shape Corporation.


To learn more, or to get involved, contact United Way’s Director of Volunteerism Shannon LaHaie at (616) 396-7811 x206 or slahaie@ottawaunitedway.org.