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United Way’s Stuff the Bus provides school supplies to 12,000 local students

United Way of Metropolitan Nashville’s 11th annual Stuff the Bus Day of Action brought together more than 1,100 volunteers from local companies to provide essential school supplies for students in need. With the support of the Tennessee Titans, Wells Fargo, Piedmont Natural Gas and 76 local companies who hosted supply drives, 12,000 students at 18 local schools will receive a backpack full of supplies on their first day of school.

Basic school supplies can cost parents an average of $200 per child. For families struggling to make ends meet, this could mean choosing between buying school supplies or putting food on the table. Through Stuff the Bus, United Way is partnering to make sure students have the supplies and resources they need to start the school year off ready to learn.

“Stuff the Bus isn’t just about filling backpacks,” said Brian Hassett, president and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Nashville. “It’s about giving kids the tools they need to learn, to create and to explore. We’re giving families a sigh of relief. For so many families in our community, filling those supply lists can be a significant burden. This program makes sure the kids who need it most have the resources to learn new words, solve new math problems, express their creativity and to start each day ready to learn and succeed.”

UPS graciously delivered backpacks to the following elementary schools:

  • Alex Green
  • Bellshire Design
  • Buena Vista
  • Robert Churchwell
  • Cole
  • Fall-Hamilton
  • Glengarry
  • Glenview
  • Haywood
  • Inglewood
  • Napier
  • Paragon Mills
  • Park Avenue
  • Robert E. Lillard
  • Schwab
  • Tom Joy
  • Tusculum
  • Whitsitt

In addition, Robertson County Schools, along with the following 25 partner agencies, received backpacks:

  • Bethlehem Family Resource Center
  • Martha O’Bryan Family Resource Center
  • St. Luke’s Family Resource Center
  • Glencliff High School Family Resource Center
  • Antioch High School Family Resource Center
  • Maplewood High School Family Resource Center
  • Pearl Cohn High School Family Resource Center
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Catholic Charities
  • Conexión Américas
  • Monroe Harding
  • Renewal House
  • Safe Haven Family Shelter
  • Sexual Assault Center
  • St. Mary Villa Child Development Center
  • Communities In School of Tennessee
  • Nations Ministry Center
  • Oasis Center
  • Fannie Battle Day Home
  • McNeilly Center for Children
  • Preston Taylor Ministries
  • From the Heart International Educational Services

Throughout July, United Way’s corporate partners generously collected pencils, crayons, markers, notebooks, rulers, glue sticks and more through workplace collection drives. The program culminated in a two-day volunteer event on July 30 and July 31 that brought together more than 1,100 volunteers who sorted and packed supplies into the backpacks. United Way also partnered to assemble 430 teacher supply boxes full of Lysol wipes, paper towels, hand sanitizer, tissues, Expo markers and Post-it Notes to deliver at the start of the year. Once supplies run out, the burden to restock often falls on teachers, who on average will spend about $500 from their own pocket each year.

To sponsor next year's Stuff the Bus Day of Action, email courtney.barlar@uwmn.org.