big backpack giveaway

United Way of Williamson County’s Stuff the Bus school supply drive seeks to steer students on the path to achievement by providing families in need with essential school supplies.

On Saturday, July 27, more than 100 volunteers will join United Way and its community partners to distribute amassed backpacks and supplies to students at four Big Backpack Giveaway events. Thanks to the generosity of Stuff the Bus sponsors, corporate partners, and individual donors, K–12 students can receive a free backpack filled with grade-appropriate supplies necessary for classroom participation and success.

Since mid-spring, United Way has been gathering school supply donations for the annual Stuff the Bus campaign. Last year’s donation drive provided approximately $136,000 worth of backpacks and supplies to 2,480 students.

“This year, our goal is to provide at least 2,500 backpacks to local students,” Debby Rainey explained. Rainey manages United Way’s Volunteer Center and serves as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives.

Stuff the Bus is a collaborative effort by United Way, Publix Super Markets, General Motors, United Automobile Workers, First Fleet, UPS, and GraceWorks Ministries, in addition to many community organizations and churches.

“It is wonderful when our local economy thrives. But, we cannot ignore how the rising cost of living affects families in need,” Rainey said.

The back-to-school season is the second biggest shopping season in the U.S. According to Deloitte’s annual back-to-school survey, families across southern states spend an average of $488 per household preparing for the first day of school.

“Sometimes, caregivers have to choose between bills and school supplies, and we know that teachers often fund school supply shortages from their own paychecks,” Rainey said. “The backpack giveaway eliminates some of the obstacles caregivers face, and it keeps children from starting school at a disadvantage.”

Williamson County residents are welcome to visit the following giveaway sites for free supplies. Backpacks will be distributed while supplies last, and students must be present.

Bethesda United Methodist Church
4812 Bethesda Road, Thompson’s Station, TN
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Westview United Methodist Church
7107 Westview Drive, Fairview, TN
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Johnson Elementary School
815 Glass Lane, Franklin, TN
Time: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Liberty Elementary School
600 Liberty Pike, Franklin, TN
Time: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

A supply donation list and more information about volunteering or making a monetary donation are available at www.uwwc.org/patriciahart/stuff-the-bus.

About United Way of Williamson County
United Way of Williamson County is committed to creating real change and measurable improvements in the day-to-day lives of thousands of people. We bring together people, companies, and organizations from across our local community to identify and support solutions to our most critical issues. Serving Williamson County for 58 years, United Way of Williamson County fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community. Change doesn’t happen alone. To live better, we must Live United. To find out more, visit uwwc.org or call 615-771-2312.

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