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United Way’s Stuff The Bus Program Gears Up for the 2023/24 School Year

When a child starts school with a backpack full of the supplies they need, they can focus on what really matters – learning.

Did you know that in Bucks County, four out of every 25 kids come from economically insecure families? And when families struggle to pay rent and put food on the table, school supplies are often out of reach.

That’s where the Stuff the Bus comes in. United Way of Bucks County’s Stuff the Bus is a community wide school supply drive that takes place every August that ensures that every kid in Bucks County – regardless of income – returns to the classroom with the tools they need to excel. These include essential supplies like sturdy backpacks, binders, pens, pencils and rulers, as well as cleaning products like hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and tissues. Last year alone, the program distributed more than 3,300 backpacks. And best of all, they serve every school district in Bucks County.

“Starting a new school year is already stressful for many kids,” said Marissa Christie, president and CEO at United Way of Bucks County. “When a child walks into class with a backpack full of the supplies they need, they can focus on what really matters — learning. Every gift to Stuff the Bus ensures that a student in our community will start the school year prepared to succeed.”

How You Can Help

There are several ways your family can contribute to the Stuff the Bus cause if able. The first, and most effective, is by donating directly to the cause. You can donate on their website by clicking here or or by mailing a check to, United Way of Bucks County, 413 Hood Blvd., Fairless Hills, PA 19030.

Another way you can help is by dropping supplies off at your local Univest Financial. Their banks are accepting supplies during bank business hours from Monday, July 24 through Friday, August 4. It is important that all donated supplies are brand new.

Needed supplies:

  • Sturdy backpacks (17″+)
  • Disinfectant wipes (hand and surface)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tissues (full size boxes)
  • Healthy snacks (peanut free/shelf stable)
  • Juice boxes (low sugar) or small water bottles

Lastly, if you and your family are more hands on, you can sign up to volunteer. Join their Back-pack-a-thon, where you’ll assist with packing 3,000 backpacks in an assembly line with groups of other volunteers. There will be multiple elements to place inside the backpacks. Other jobs will include stickering school supply kits, replenishing the supplies, and removing trash.

How You Can Receive Help

Parents or caregivers can submit an application directly on their website to receive a backpack. Registration for Stuff the Bus must be submitted by August 4, 2023 to be eligble. To be eligible for Stuff the Bus, your child(ren) must be; in need, a resident of Bucks County, PA, and entering grades K-12.

It’s important to note that submitting an application does guarantee that you will receive school supplies, but they are doing their best to ensure that everyone that wants/needs a backpack will receive one.

Additionally, it’s important to note that Stuff the Bus allows United Way to keep its HELP Center stocked with backpacks and school supplies year-round if you miss this drive. Their HELP Center is located at 413 Hood Boulevard, Fairless Hills, PA 19030.

By working together, we can give students the tools – and confidence – that they need to excel in the classroom!

Feature Photo Courtesy of Caleb Oquendo via Pexels

Calendar Editor & Writer for Bucks County Parent. Email tips to christine@familyfocus.org.