JA to stage annual Stuff the Bus drive

Staff Writer

The Starkville and Oktibbeha communities will have an opportunity to help area students starting this weekend, with the Junior Auxiliary of Starkville’s Stuff the Bus school supply drive.

The annual drive begins July 28, and will run until Aug. 4. Through the entire duration, several Starkville businesses will be offering 20 percent off for the donation of school supplies at their premises. Participating businesses include Bell Building Supply, Occasions, Deep South Pout, George-Mary’s, The Pop Porium, LA Green, 929 Coffee, Reed’s, Merle Norman, Luna Bella, It’s a Date, Fleur de Lis and Doodlebugs. To receive the discount, customers must donate three school supplies or one backpack. A list of wanted supplies can be found on the Starkville JA Facebook Page. Supplies will be distributed between the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District, Starkville Academy and the T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability.

Additionally, JA members will be posted at both entrances to Walmart collecting school supplies from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 4.

“We set up at the entrances to Walmart, and we hand out school supply lists that we have combined from all the school supply lists in the county, and we talk to Walmart customers going in and out of the store about Junior Auxiliary, kind of what we’re about, and we ask them to donate school supplies if they feel led to,” said JA 2018 Stuff the Bus Chair Anna Chaney.

Chaney said the organization does well on the drive every year.

“There is a need in Oktibbeha County for the school supplies, so I think it puts the teachers’ minds and the administration’s minds at ease, because they’re not having to purchase those school supplies out-of-pocket,” Chaney said. “A lot of teachers have to do that. “

Chaney said after the drive, carloads of supplies would go to each school to be used as needed. The 2018 drive is the first to have local merchants involved.

“We live to serve the Children of Oktibbeha County, and just trying to enrich their lives and the welfare of their lives to be better, to help them grow in their education and prepare them for their future to be a positive one,” Chaney said.