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United Way’s Annual Stuff The Bus program

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For nearly two decades, the United Way’s Stuff The Bus program has put countless Hernando County students ‘on the road’ to a better, more productive school year. And once again this year, the program’s host agency is seeking community volunteers to ‘steer the bus’ down the path to surefire success!

In 2007, the United Way of Hernando County introduced the Annual Stuff The Bus program, a massive school supply collection effort to benefit students in need. For one weekend each summer, the United Way of Hernando County joins the Hernando County Transportation Department in placing multiple school buses throughout the community at participating locations. These school buses are staffed by dedicated teachers and volunteers who will be accepting donations of school supplies for Hernando County classrooms. “This event brings much-needed supplies to teachers and their students,” read a released statement.

Executive Director/CEO of United Way of Hernando County, Angie Walasek, is excited to introduce this year’s Stuff The Bus campaign. “We’re thrilled to be providing our 17th Annual Stuff The Bus!” she said. “All details and more can be found on this simple webpage: www.UnitedWayHernando.org/StuffTheBus.”

Teachers who volunteer will reap special benefits from their participation in Stuff The Bus. “Volunteering consists of local teachers (and volunteer groups/residents) signing up for specific shifts in front of our Hernando Publix Stores and Walmart on US 19, between Friday, July 7th – Sunday, July 9th,” said Walasek. “This opportunity gives us the platform to advocate for classroom needs and connect with store customers, as school supply items are advertised and requested to donate. Teachers who volunteer at least two hours of their time will be granted Wish List items they previously submitted to us.” Volunteers can sign up at https://unitedwayhernando.galaxydigital.com/.

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And, as always, donors also are needed to fill these buses with supplies! “All wish lists will be granted to the best of our ability, and quantities are contingent on the generosity of our community’s donations from July 6th – July 11th,” said Walasek. “People can easily donate school supply items at the designated locations during that week in July, or they can be dropped off at our United Way location (4028 Commercial Way in Spring Hill) during operating hours (M-F 9 am-5 pm). Cash and gift card donations are also encouraged, so our team may purchase additional items needed that weren’t necessarily donated. This can be done on-site July 7th-9th to our reliable volunteers or online by visiting www.UnitedWayHernando.org/GIVE.”

UW even provides a handy list of nearly 30 requested supplies for the 2023-24 school year. The list includes pencils, pens, colored pencils, crayons, copy paper, markers, index cards, highlighters, calculators, erasers, notebooks, dictionaries, and much more. For the complete list, visit https://www.unitedwayhernando.org/STBSUPPLIES.

For more information about the United Way’s Stuff The Bus and volunteer opportunities at the event, call 352-688-2026.

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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