Stuff the Bus effort sends children to school prepared

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NEW RIVER VALLEY – Families throughout the New River Valley were able to send their children back to school with all the supplies necessary to ensure a great start to the school year. This year’s United Way Stuff the Bus campaign saw widespread support from our community and served 534 local low-income children with backpacks brimming with school supplies.

Local businesses collected donations and served as convenient drop-off locations across the New River Valley, while residents donated supplies and helped stuff buses during the Stuff the Bus event at Walmart in Christiansburg in July. Local non-profits Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program (MCEAP), Floyd County Emergency Assistance Program (FCEAP) and Radford Clothing Bank distributed school supplies to local children.

In total 262 backpacks were donated in Montgomery, 106 backpacks in Floyd, and 167 in Radford. In addition to backpacks filled with supplies being distributed through local nonprofits, United Way also partnered with Montgomery County Public Schools, Radford City Public Schools, and Floyd County Public Schools to provide teachers with additional supplies to help in their classrooms throughout the entire year. “It is incredibly rewarding to play a part in helping local children with school supplies.” Stated Marcela Jara-Radlbeck, United Way’s Community Engagement Director. “When I talk to struggling families, the thought of the additional expense of purchasing school supplies seems overwhelming to them. By working together as a community, we can provide a backpack full of supplies, relief for local parents, and a great foundation to help kids in our community have the best start to their school year.”

On behalf of the families and children served, United Way would like to express sincere appreciation to each donor, volunteer, and partner charity that played a hand in the success of this year’s Stuff the Bus school supply drive. For additional information or to find out how you can help next year, please contact the United Way of the New River Valley’s office at (540) 381-2066 or by email at info@unitedwaynrv.org.