Community is being urged to help Stuff the Bus

Published 5:55 am Friday, July 23, 2010

Lifestyles & Features Editor

Beaufort County residents are being asked to step up to the plate to help make the start of a new school year a bit brighter for area students.
Beaufort County Schools is sponsoring Stuff the Bus, a campaign that collects school supplies for students who may not otherwise be able to afford them.
“The whole point of Stuff the Bus is for us to help every child become ready to go back to school, and by ‘us’ I mean the entire community,” said Sarah Hodges, BCS’s public information officer. “Coming back to school can be stressful for any child, and many of our children’s needs are out of their control, so we want to meet those needs as best as we can, as a school system and a community.”
BCS will station a school bus at the Washington Wal-Mart on Aug. 7 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hodges pointed out that date falls during the “no-tax” weekend, so, optimistically, more people may purchase a few extra school supplies to donate to the cause.
“Our goal is to literally stuff the bus as full as we can get it,” Hodges said. “If everyone can contribute a little, it will make an amazing investment in our county’s greatest resource.”
Stuff the Bus is an initiative being done in school systems and communities across the country, but this is the first time Beaufort County Schools has actively participated, Hodges added.
Suggested items for donation include pencils, erasers, pens, scissors, crayons, glue sticks, notebook paper, folders, spiral notebooks, headphones, hand sanitizer, backpacks (without wheels), pencil bags and boxes, sandwich bags (all sizes), tissues, rulers, highlight markers, three-ring binders and colored pencils.
Each of the county’s schools will assess its students’ needs, and the donations will be distributed accordingly.
The school system also is hoping community groups will purchase book bags in bulk, Hodges said. Other items will be added to the book bags and volunteers are needed to help stuff them, as well.
For anyone wishing to make an early donation, items may be dropped off at the student-services department, located at the BCS Central Office complex on Smaw Road in Washington. For more information, contact student-services director Nicole Howard at 252-946-6593.
To download a list of needed items, visit the BCS Web site at