Community events provide for children in need

Published 6:34 pm Wednesday, August 7, 2019

It won’t be long before school bells will once again be sounding in Beaufort County, and the month of August is primetime for back to school shopping. For many families in the area, however, the expense of buying everything kids need to succeed in class can be a large burden. Fortunately, a variety of back to school events in Washington, Belhaven and Aurora will offer some much needed help for local students.

“We want everybody to come in with a fresh start, ready to learn and knowing that their needs are met,” said Beaufort County Schools 6-12 Curriculum Coordinator Ashley Padgett.

On Saturday, BCS, along with a variety of community partners, will host its annual Stuff the Bus campaign at the Washington Walmart. From 9 a.m. to noon, school system staff and volunteers will be collecting donations of school supplies from community members and packing them in a bright yellow school bus. Since the event started, Stuff the Bus has helped hundreds of students.

“We go ahead that day and divvy up supplies for our schools,” Padgett said. “We have their supply lists and kind of know what they’re being asked to bring. Those boxes will go next week to those schools, full of school supplies. Then teachers, principals and school counselors know if a kid comes and doesn’t have what they need, they can go in the box and get it for those children.”

In addition to donations from shoppers on Saturday, Padgett says Vidant Beaufort Hospital, Arts of the Pamlico and local churches have already started collecting supplies. Other community partners for the event include Beaufort County United Way, Bright Futures of Beaufort County and The Salvation Army. Bright Futures also is collecting clothing and toiletries for students in need as well, and supplies may be dropped off at the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce.

While Stuff the Bus will benefit students at all BCS schools, a pair of events in Belhaven and Blounts Creek will specifically help out kids in those parts of the county.

From noon to 3 p.m. on Aug. 17, Donna Stilley, Ross and Georgette Williams, Brandi Walker, Joe Calhoun and the Aurora Rec Department will host the area’s fourth-annual back to school drive at the William and Cora Powell Park at 17501 N.C. Highway 33 in Blounts Creek. The event will feature food, games, free bookbags and supplies for those who attend, and supplies will also be collected for S.W. Snowden students.

Later the same day, from 4 to 7 p.m., a Back to School Bash at West Belhaven Church of Christ will offer fun for kids and a chance for adults to make donations of school supplies. There will be an inflatable waterslide for older children, along with a bouncy house for the little ones. Those who attend are asked to bring school supplies to donate for students at Bath and Northeast elementary schools.

Stuff the Bus Wish List

  • Backpacks (early childhood through 12th grade)
  • Glue sticks
  • 24 count crayons
  • Glue (eight ounce and 16 ounce)
  • No. 2 pencils, pencil boxes
  • Colored pencils
  • Large erasers
  • Washable markers
  • Pens (blue and black ink)
  • Highlighters
  • Scissors
  • Spiral notebooks (both college and wide-ruled)
  • Notebook paper (both college and wide-ruled)
  • Pocket folders-solid colors (brads and no brads)
  • 3 ring binders (one-inch and two-inch)
  • Watercolor paints