It’s back to school time in Oktibbeha County, and for the Junior Auxiliary, that means it’s time for the annual Stuff the Bus event.
“The purpose of this event is to serve as many children as possible with the funds available,” said Robin Parker, Child Assistance Committee Chair. “Historically this has involved making essential school supplies available to children at the beginning of the school year when those children have been referred by school counselors... It is one of our most important projects because we are able to fill an immediate need of children in our schools.”
Stuff the Bus will take place at Wal-Mart Friday, July, 30 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Junior Auxiliary members will be stationed at each entrance to hand out a list of needs with a summary of prices for each supply. Items in need include pencils, notebooks, folders, rulers, glue, scissors and the like. School counselors from the Starkville School District and the Oktibbeha County School District work closely with the Junior Auxiliary to make a list of supplies that are greatly needed by children in the schools.
Patrons can take that list, and while conducting their weekly shopping, they can pick up a few of the items on the list, and then donate them to the Junior Auxiliary.
After the supplies are donated, the JA members continue to work with counselors throughout the year in case there are students that need additional supplies or have needs such as coats or clothing.
“Our goal is to meet the needs of all of the children in need from Oktibbeha County and Starkville School District,” Parker explained. “We have a very long list, and will only be able to meet this need through community support at this school supply drive.”
After the supplies are collected, JA members will work quickly to distribute the supplies to the respective schools so that children in need will have the materials they need on the first day of school, Parker added. Monetary donations will also be accepted during the Stuff the Bus event. Money collected will be used to purchase supplies that are not collected during the event.
JA is a nonprofit organization focused on improving the lives in the community.