It was another hot weather weekend but that didn’t keep United Way from filling buses with school supplies. Supplies were collected for the 11th annual Fill the Bus drive on Friday, July 24 and Saturday July 25 at Walmart stores in Alma, Booneville, Fort Smith, Greenwood, Ozark, Paris, Poteau, Sallisaw and Van Buren. Joining Fill the Bus this year were the Walmart Neighborhood Markets in Cedarville, Charleston, Mansfield and Mulberry.
Items donated included pens, pencils, paper, crayons, scissors, glue, notebooks, backpacks, kindergarten mats and many other items. Supply lists were handed out at each location to customers as they entered the store.
“We are so grateful to each of the volunteers and to the generous donors who helped make this our best year ever!” said Mitzy Little, United Way Marketing Director. “This event over the last few years has increased in donations so much. This year we had over 50,000 packages of supplies donated. Thousands of children in need in our six-county area will benefit from it. United Way is proud to help in getting those children’s school year off to a better start.”
Volunteers worked shifts on Friday and Saturday helping to hand out flyers and count and sort supplies. The event lasted from 9 am to 9 pm on Friday and from 9 am to 3 pm on Saturday. Many area businesses also collected supplies at their offices including ArcBest Corporation, Golden Living, Klein Tools and Littlefield Oil Company.
United Way President, Eddie Lee Herndon said, “Fill the Bus is a great example of our awesome community in action. Hundreds of volunteers came together united to help our children, teachers, and local schools in our six county area. We want to say thank you to our volunteers, Walmart, local media representatives, and the numerous people that donated school supplies during the Fill the Bus event.” All of the supplies collected are distributed to school districts and partner agencies throughout United Way’s six-county service area.
A special thank you to Walmart for allowing United Way to host this event at its stores throughout the region.
United Way of Fort Smith Area serves Crawford, Franklin, Logan and Sebastian counties in Arkansas and LeFlore and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma. Its mission is to improve lives by connecting people and resources in its six-county area.