United Way’s Annual Stuff the Bus School Supply and Backpack Drive is July 23-August 6

Greater Ottawa County United Way will host its annual Stuff the Bus School Supply and Backpack Drive from Tuesday, July 23 through Tuesday, August 6. Community members are invited to donate school supplies and backpacks for local kids at Fifth Third Bank locations in Ottawa County, Loutit District Library, the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District and at the WHTC/The Van Radio Station. Donations can also be made by texting BUS to 30306.

United Way's Vice President of Volunteer Engagement Shannon LaHaie said, “Stuff the Bus 2019 is a record year for number of locations and collection boxes. We have 11 new locations, with a total of 67 sites and 97 boxes. We hope this will translate to more supplies than ever before to give students the best start to the new school year. I am so grateful and amazed by the generosity of businesses and donors in our area. We couldn’t do this without their support!”

Backpacks and school supplies are needed for elementary, middle school and high school students. Here are the lists of needed supplies:

Elementary: backpacks, earbuds/headphones, Clorox wipes, dry erase markers & erasers, scissors, glue sticks, pencil boxes, pencils, crayons/colored pencils, washable markers, large erasers, spiral notebooks, 3-ring binders, Post-it notes, composition notebooks, pencil sharpeners, two-pocket folders, pencil top erasers, construction paper, cardstock/tagboard

Middle School: backpacks, earbuds/headphones, dry erase markers, Post-it notes, highlighters, 3-ring binders, loose leaf and/or notebooks, erasers, blank notecards, folders, composition notebooks, canvas pencil/supply cases

High School: backpacks, earbuds/headphones, 3-ring binders, loose leaf and/or notebooks, folders, pens, pencils, Post-it notes, highlighters, markers, erasers, composition notebooks, canvas pencil/supply cases, dry erase markers & erasers, index cards

At the end of August, Stuff the Bus backpacks full of school supplies will be distributed to local kids in need. Students in the Holland area can pick up a backpack in at The Holland Salvation Army located at 104 Clover St. on Thursday, August 15. Pre-registration takes place from August 1-12 with The Salvation Army by calling (616) 392-4461. Students can also pick up a backpack in Grand Haven on Wednesday, August 21 from 4:30pm-5:30pm at The Salvation Army located at 310 N. Despelder St. Pre-registration takes at The Grand Haven Salvation Army through August 9 by calling (616) 842-3380.

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: Automatic Spring Products, Bekins, Catholic Charities West Michigan, City of Grand Haven, Civic Center Place, Community Mental Health, Consumers Energy, Fifth Third Bank, Flex, Grand Haven Custom Molding, Greater Ottawa County United Way, Haworth, Inc., Heartwood Lodge Nursing Home, ITW Drawform, L & W Engineering, Loutit District Library, Mercantile Bank, North Ottawa Community Health System, Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, PADNOS, Semco Energy, Tennant, The Chamber Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Ferrysburg, Urgent Care, Weiss Chiropratic, WHTC Radio, Windmill Island Gardens and Woodward.

To learn more, or to get involved, contact Shannon LaHaie at (616) 396-7811 x206 or slahaie@ottawaunitedway.org.