For the last 10 years, United Way has been supplying students in our community with essential school supplies through an outreach program called Stuff the Bus.
In previous years, United Way collected materials by placing collection boxes in various businesses and other locations around the community. However, COVID-19 and remote working impacted the collection of supplies this year.
In June, United Way began their fundraising project. They posted shopping lists on Target and Amazon, but they did not yield very many items, so they decided to transform their supply drive into a monetary campaign.
“We were able to raise enough money to fund a little bit to all the school districts in our service area,” said Kathy Preddy, United Way of Northern Cameron County Resource Development Director. “Harlingen CISD will be receiving a check of a little over $700.”
These funds will help the school district to stock up on traditional school supplies while having the opportunity to purchase additional items needed for online learning such as earbuds.
“We had to think outside the box, outside of our collection box this year,” Preddy said. We had to think of some new partners and new ways of doing business just like everybody else is doing.”
The money was raised through donations from organizations such as the Rotary Club of North Harlingen among others. The New York Deli in Harlingen also assisted in this project. They hosted a Stuff the Bus night where a percentage of the sales were given to United Way for this campaign.
Over the years, thousands of school-aged children have been helped through this program. Funds and supplies are organized by and given directly to school districts in the northern Cameron County area to distribute to students who need them.