The first day of school is Aug. 18, and Pasco County teachers need help stocking their classrooms with supplies for students.
So the United Way of Pasco County will hold its fourth Stuff the Bus for Teachers event from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. today through Sunday at more than a dozen locations in Pasco. The event coincides with the statewide back-to-school sales tax holiday on school supplies.
”Many of our schoolteachers spend more than $400 each year to supply their classrooms,” United Way of Pasco President and CEO Duggan Cooley said in a news release. “We think that’s a lot to ask of a teacher.”
After the collection campaign, volunteers on Monday and Tuesday will pack one box for each teacher and deliver the goods to more than 80 schools. Pasco Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning was among the volunteers sorting contributed items at last year’s drive.
Shoppers are encouraged to pick up extra supplies and deliver them to a nearby drop-off location. “This is an easy way to give back to our teachers,” Cooley said, “and allow them to focus on what is really important: our students. While you are doing your regular school supply shopping, come help us Stuff the Bus.”
Supplies that are most requested include No. 2 pencils, loose-leaf paper, composition notebooks, crayons, colored pencils, highlighter markers, dry-erase markers, hand sanitizer, three-pronged folders with pockets, 1-inch binders with three rings, baby wipes, paper towels, tissues, Band-Aids, markers, paper plates and plastic cups.
“Treasure chest goodies” also are welcomed, such as stickers, candy, small toys, games or anything fun that can serve as an incentive or reward.
More volunteers are needed. Check available shifts by going online to www.tinyurl.com/stuffthebus2014. People also may contact Stefanie Pontlitz at (727) 835-2029 or [email protected] pasco.org.
Those who wish to help also can contribute money to buy supplies, as well as Wal-Mart and Publix gift cards.
Donations can be mailed to or dropped off at United Way of Pasco County, 17230 Camelot Court, Land O’ Lakes, FL 34638, with “Stuff the Bus” noted, or use one of the donation boxes available at the buses.
Businesses and local organizations lend their support to the annual campaign, including Publix, Wal-Mart, the Pasco County school district, the West Pasco Young Professionals Group, Rotary Clubs of New Port Richey, Trinity and Port Richey, Stone Parker CPAs, Land O’ Lakes Transport & Moving, Walgreens and others.
Drop-off sites and bus locations this weekend include:
♦ Hudson area: Wal-Mart, 12610 U.S. 19; Publix Tower Oaks Terrace, 12101 Little Road.
♦ Port Richey area: Publix Regency Crossings, 7037 Ridge Road; Publix Riverwalk Crossings, 11400 Ridge Road; Wal-Mart Port Richey, 8701 U.S. 19.
♦ New Port Richey west: Wal-Mart, 8745 State Road 54; Publix Southgate Shopping Center, 5127 U.S. 19.
♦ New Port Richey east: Publix Chelsea Place, 1346 Seven Springs Blvd.; Publix Mitchell Ranch Plaza, 3100 Little Road, Trinity.
♦ Lutz/Land O’ Lakes area: Publix Sunlake Center, 18901 State Road 54; Wal-Mart, 1575 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.; Publix Collier Commons, 2121 Collier Parkway.
♦ Wesley Chapel: Publix Hollybrook, 5400 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.; Publix New Tampa, 1920 County Road 581.
♦ Zephyrhills: Publix Zephyr Commons, 7838 Gall Blvd.; Wal-Mart Zephyrhills, 7631 Gall Blvd.