PORT RICHEY — The first day of school is right around the corner and Pasco teachers need help stocking their classrooms with necessary supplies for students.
So the United Way of Pasco is holding its fourth Stuff the Bus for Teachers event from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday at 14 locations in the county. The event coincides with the statewide sales tax holiday on school supplies at stores.
”Many of our school teachers spend more than $400 each year to supply their classrooms,” United Way of Pasco president and CEO Duggan Cooley said in a press release. “We think that’s a lot to ask of a teacher.”
After the collection campaign, volunteers Monday and Tuesday will pack one box apiece for local teachers 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 to a nearby 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.”
Most requested supplies typically include #2 pencils, loose-leaf paper, composition notebooks, crayons, colored pencils, highlighter pens, dry-erase markers, hand sanitizer, three-prong folders with pockets, 1-inch binders with three rings, baby wipes, paper towels, tissues, Band-Aids, markers, paper plates, plastic cups and more.
“Treasure chest goodies” also are welcomed, such as stickers, candy, small toys, games or anything fun that can serve as an incentive or reward.
Additional volunteers are needed. Check available shifts by going online to www.tinyurl.com/stuffthebus2014. People also can contact Stefanie Pontlitz at (727) 835-2029 or firstname.lastname@example.org. In the past families volunteer together, Cooley noted.
Benefactors also can contribute money to purchase school supplies and Walmart or Publix gift cards. Donations can be mailed or dropped off to United Way of Pasco County, 17230 Camelot Ct., Land O Lakes, FL 34638, with Stuff the Bus noted, or use one of the donation boxes available at the buses.
Many businesses and local organizations lend their support to the annual campaign, including Publix, Walmart, Pasco County School District, 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 more.
Drop-off sites and bus locations this weekend include:
Hudson area: Walmart at 12610 U.S. 19 and Publix Tower Oaks Terrace at 12101 Little Road.
Port Richey area: Publix Regency Crossings at 7037 Ridge Road and Publix Riverwalk Crossings at 11400 Ridge Road.
New Port Richey West: Walmart at 8745 S.R. 54 and Publix Southgate Shopping Center at 5127 U.S. 19.
New Port Richey East: Publix Chelsea Place at 1346 Seven Springs Blvd. and Publix Mitchell Ranch Plaza at 3100 Little Road, Trinity.