Salvation Army’s ‘Stuff the Bus!’ helps local kids get ready for school year

Jul 28, 2021 | Around Ottawa County, Featured | 0 comments

Parents all around Ottawa County know school supplies can be expensive, and some moms or dads will need a little help to provide their child with a back pack and all of the needed supplies before county schools open starting the last week of August.

“It’s not as if schools can provide all of a student’s supplies,” said Director Maureen Saponari of the Salvation Army, who also organizes the Tools for School Program to help with classroom supplies during the upcoming school year.

“But school supplies are so important for the children,” said Saponari. “That’s why we want to make sure each kid has them on the first day of school. Each student who needs it will receive a new book bag full of the items on their specific grade lists.”

To make that happen, generous folks in Ottawa County must plan now to “Stuff the Bus.” The bus belongs to the Port Clinton School District, and it will be conveniently parked in front of the Walmart in Port Clinton, 2826 E. Harbor Rd., from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday through Sunday, Aug. 6-8.

Either stop at Walmart for supplies in order to do some “stuffing,” or drop off a donation at the Salvation Army, 1854 E. Perry St., Port Clinton.

To have their kid’s book bags filled with the needed classroom supplies, the long list can take a financially-challenged parent’s breath away, especially one who has suffered for months getting through the pandemic.

Saponari said the supplies can include: paper towels, zip lock bags, Kleenex, baby wipes and a basic supply of glue, crayons, glue stick, paint shirt, pens, pencils, pocket folders, notebooks, loose-leaf paper, binders, compasses, graph paper, colored pencils, rulers, graph calculator and pencil boxes.

Some supplies are provided. Many are not. Buying them can challenge an family budget straining to afford food, housing or utilities.

“We’ve long been proud of the support the Salvation Army receives from the community and businesses throughout the year, and especially during the Christmas season,” said Saponari. “Despite the pandemic last Christmas our wonderful volunteers and contributors set gift-giving records.

“The ‘Stuff the Bus!’ is so important as well, because it helps students have the supplies that will help them to learn, and put them on a path to success.”

Saponari emphasized that the “Stuff the Bus!” And the Tools for Schools programs allow the Salvation to service a definite need, but not compromise the confidentiality of the students.

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