from staff reports
The Meridian Star
Donations are needed for United Way of East Mississippi's "Stuff the Bus" event scheduled for next Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Dumont Plaza in downtown Meridian.
The annual event provides the opportunity to donate school supplies, new or used uniforms, and monetary gifts that will support elementary children as they go back to school.
The donations received during this annual event help local elementary children return to school prepared with the supplies they need, organizers said.
“By donating just $60, you can provide one child with the school supplies and uniforms needed to go back to school in the fall,” said Sara Odom, campaign/community impact director for United Way of East Mississippi.
”Stuff the Bus” was implemented about three years ago as a way to help provide children with supplies and uniforms needed to start school, to help parents who struggle to afford these expenses for one or more children in their household, and to help take some of the burden off of the teachers that often pay for these things out of their own pocket for children in need, according to a response to a query by The Meridian Star.
This program is currently serves elementary school age children in Meridian Public Schools and Lauderdale County Schools. Organizers hope to expand the program in the future to help middle school students as well.
Last year, about $20,000 worth of supplies and donations were collected. "Our goal is to collect $50,000 and eventually be able to provide every single child K-5 in MPSD and LCSD with their supplies for school," a press release states.
Partnering with United Way on the Stuff the Bus program are The Liberty Shop and Meridian Kiwanis. The United Way of East Mississippi encourages everyone to “Stuff the Bus” with school supplies, uniforms, and monetary donations. For monetary gifts, make checks payable to United Way of East Mississippi/ Re: Stuff the Bus 2013, and mail to United Way of East Mississippi, 2003 23rd Ave., Meridian, MS 39301.