Stuff the Bus

Stuff the Bus logo

The 2021 Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive collected supplies for 23 schools within our service area. 56,263 supplies were distributed this year! Supplies collected will assist nearly 3,500 local K-12 students in southwest Minnesota. School staff ensures the supplies reach those who really need some extra support. Families in need of supplies should contact their school district directly regarding distribution dates/process, as this varies from district to district.

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The purpose of our Stuff the Bus initiative is to provide K-12 students with the basic school supplies needed to learn and be successful, thereby allowing them (and their parents) to focus on their academic goals. When students are provided with the tools that they need to be successful in school, it eases many burdens. Children can focus on their studies without worrying about having a pencil or a notebook and parents can lift the financial burden off their shoulders. When United Way of Southwest Minnesota provides these supplies through Stuff the Bus, we are making an impact that goes much further than school supplies. We’re alleviating stress, building confidence, and helping students thrive. 

This initiative is available at all schools throughout our service area and engages numerous volunteers.  Collection barrels and containers are placed at various locations throughout the area. Local workplaces hold collection drives and are provided with specific supply goals to raise. United Way staff then determines what supplies will need to be purchased to fulfill the need based on data received from the schools and trends from past years. 

School supplies provided include: backpacks, colored pencils, crayons, eraser toppers, expo markers, folders, glue bottles and sticks, hand sanitizer, headphones, highlighters, index cards, tissues, markers, notebooks, pencil boxes, pencils, pens, pink erasers, rulers and scissors. Other miscellaneous supplies that come in through the donation containers are also distributed to the schools. Dozens of volunteers come together to sort, pack, and load the school supplies at the National Guard Armory in Marshall.  School representatives pick up their respective schools supplies and manage distribution to their neediest students in a way that works best for their district, as there are many multi-town and multi-building districts within our service area.