‘Stuff the Bus’ campaign garners $70,000 worth of school supplies

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Thousands of school supplies were donated during last weekend's "Stuff the Bus" event. Photo by Hannah Leyva.
Thousands of school supplies were donated during last weekend’s ‘Stuff the Bus’ event. Photo by Hannah Leyva.

Thanks to the donations of people all around the Wilmington area, Communities in Schools of Cape Fear has collected just under $70,000 worth of school supplies to date to distribute to students this upcoming school year.

According to Louise Hicks, the executive director of CIS Cape Fear, the total surpasses last year’s $60,000. Following the “Stuff the Bus” event, held over a weekend from Aug. 3 through 5, seven school buses full of supplies were unloaded and sorted by volunteers.

The items, which included classroom basics, such as pens, notebooks, glue and rulers, to hygiene needs, such as facial tissues and hand sanitizer, will be distributed to students and schools in two counties.

“Now that the items have been sorted, we have created ‘shopping lists’ for each of the schools in New Hanover and Pender Counties,” Hicks said in an email, noting that school counselors and social workers have been invited to pick up items at the Mosley Performance Learning Center, where the supplies are temporarily being kept. “Any supplies left over once all the schools have ‘shopped’ will be divided equally between our region’s highest need schools; all the supplies will be on site at the schools well in advance of our students’ first day on [Aug.] 29.”

CIS Cape Fear has been organizing the campaign for over a dozen years. The non-profit group, which has chapters all over the country (including one in Brunswick County), is the nation’s largest school dropout prevention organization. In addition to physical resources such as school supplies, CIS provides academic assistance, teaches life skills and helps address behavioral issues. For more on CIS Cape Fear, visit its website.