United Way set to “Stuff the Bus” with school supply drive

By John Bailey



Every bit helps.

Last year, despite limitations related to the pandemic, the Catawba County United Way (CCUW) was able to collect more than 4,400 items and raised $1,080 during its annual Stuff the Bus school supply drive.

These resources went to students in need from all three local public school districts – Catawba County Schools, Hickory Public Schools and Newton-Conover City Schools. 

Conover volunteers Stuff the Bus
Conover School staff help sort donations in 2020.

The CCUW will host this year’s school supply drive, from July 5 through Aug. 5, making sure every child has the tools they need to succeed.

Jenkins Elementary School Principal Calandra Davis said it is imperative to have community support in providing school supplies for students.

“Schools address students' comprehensive needs through the shared efforts of school personnel, the students themselves, their families, and the community at large,” Davis said. “Together we are collectively responsible for preparing the next generation to be productive members of society.”

The United Way encourages anyone who can, to help support this effort to reach the more than 22,000 public school students in our county. Last year, along with hundreds of individual donors, the CCUW partnered with 16 local businesses, who helped collect Stuff the Bus items.

What’s Needed

This year, along with school supplies, the CCUW is collecting hygiene products.

Classroom supplies: 3-ring binders, backpacks, composition books, spiral notebooks, graph paper, notebook paper (college and regular rule), pens, pencils, glue sticks, erasers, folders, crayons, colored pencils, ear buds, rulers, markers, scissors, pencil boxes, Ziplock bags (sandwich, quart, gallon), composition books.

Hygiene products: Kleenex, cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, feminine hygiene products.

Once collected, United Way volunteers will sort and package items for pick-up by local school personnel prior to classes starting in August. Items collected will be available through school social workers or other school personnel.

Items can be dropped off at the Catawba County United Way office at 2760 Tate Blvd. in Hickory and at all of the Catawba County Library’s branches. Various companies throughout Catawba County are doing internal collections as well.

Monetary donations can be mailed to the Catawba County United Way – P.O. Box 2425, Hickory, NC 28603 – or made online at Facebook.

For more information about the drive or call 828-327-6851 or email jbailey@ccunitedway.com.