Bucks County Herald

Stuff the Bus campaign supports 3,300 children



Penn Community Bank supported United Way of Bucks County’s Stuff the Bus school supply drive, offering its 23 Bucks County branches as dropoff points for the annual donation drive. Displaying some of the school supplies collected are, from left, Todd Hurley, chief relationship officer, Penn Community Bank; Danielle Bush, director of community and volunteer engagement, United Way of Bucks County; Kelly Hodgdon, administrative assistant, Penn Community Bank; and Marissa Christie, president and CEO, United Way of Bucks County.

More than 300 local volunteers spent the day sorting, organizing, and filling backpacks with essential back to school supplies through Stuff the Bus, United Way of Bucks County’s annual campaign to help local children in need.

The event, hosted at Fairless Hills Fire Department’s Westaby Hall, is the largest of its kind in Bucks County. The event kicked off with a ribbon-cutting, attended by state Reps. Frank Farry, John Galloway, and Helen Tai; school superintendents Dr. William Gretzula (Pennsbury School District) and Dr. Tom Shaffer (Bristol Borough School District); and many community and business leaders.

More than 3,300 backpacks were filled with essential supplies during the event. They will be distributed to students in pre-k through high school in the coming days, largely through school districts, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations.

Due to increasing demand, Stuff the Bus will serve more people this year than ever before.
“I remember just two years ago, we were helping about 2,000 kids,” said Jared Merlie, Wells Fargo regional banking district manager in Bucks County and a multi-year Stuff the Bus volunteer. “To know we’re helping over 3,000 kids this year is amazing,” he added.

Brian Papsun, United Way of Bucks County board member and senior tax manager at Grant Thornton, reminded volunteers that each and every bag already had a child waiting for it.

“Every backpack you pack is for a kid who needs your help. You are giving them the excitement of having brand new school supplies for a brand new school year. You’re helping to give them a great start,” he said.

Stuff the Bus is sponsored by Wells Fargo, BB&T, Bank of America, Bay Sales, LLC., Comcast, Cummins, PECO, Sesame Place, and St. Mary Medical Center. Each organization provides supplies and volunteers.

Local nonprofits work together to ensure the success of the event – and to ensure that children who need help get it. Nonprofit partners include Bucks County Housing Group, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County, YWCA Bucks County, Catholic Social Services, and Bucks for Kids.

Those who still wish to help can donate online at uwbucks.org/stuffthebus or mail a check to: United Way at 413 Hood Blvd., Fairless Hills, Pa. 19030 with “Stuff the Bus” in the memo line.




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