JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Changes are coming to Stuff the Bus this year, due to COVID-19.
The event is going virtual.
Buses will not be parked in front of Walmart stores across Region 8, but people can donate money so schools can get the supplies that students need.
The way you can do that this year is by texting “Stuff” to 77000. It will take you to the organization’s event page. (Message and data rates may apply)
There, you can pick the local Walmart that you want to donate to and how much. Then you enter in some information and you are done.
Erin Calhoon, director of programs and events for the United Way of Northeast Arkansas said certain Walmart stores team up with certain schools.
“We’ll divide it, based on the percentage of students that are at each district, and then we will get gift cards from the participating Walmart’s and we will deliver those to the schools,” Calhoon said.
Director of the United Way of Northeast Arkansas Nanette Heard said there is a bright side to the situation.
“So, one good thing about this year, there is a good thing this year, and that is the schools will be able to get exactly what they need,” Heard said.
She said the concern this year is that since there will not be a physical presence at the stores this year, that some schools may not get what they really need and she urges people to donate.
The United Way began taking donations on July 1 and the Virtual Stuff the Bus runs until August 2.
Calhoon said she has been in touch with schools in the area and they believe the need will be higher this year for school supplies, due to COVID-19.
“You know, we’ve asked them what are some of the new needs and they’ve all, pretty well across the board, just mentioned that the need this year is great,” Calhoon said.
People can still donate physical school supplies to their off at 407 Union Street in Jonesboro. They ask that you have those supplies turned in by July 31.
People can also buy supplies and ship them to their office.
The United Way is also asking businesses and the community to participate in the Team Drive this year.
That is where teams of people can get together and raise money or physical supplies to donate to Stuff the Bus.
Heard said this event is important because the kids are our future.
“Children are our future, and we need to give them all the tools that we can to help them succeed,” Heard said.
- Jonesboro, Highland Drive (Brookland, Jonesboro, & Nettleton)
- Jonesboro, Parker Road (Valley View, Weiner, & Westside)
- Newport (Newport & Jackson County)
- Osceola (Osceola & Rivercrest)
- Paragould (Greene County Tech, Marmaduke, & Paragould)
- Pocahontas (Maynard & Pocahontas)
- Trumann (Bay, East Poinsett County, & Trumann)
- Walnut Ridge (Imboden Area Charter, Hoxie, & Walnut Ridge)
- Wynne (Cross County & Wynne)