Stuff the Bus, in partnership with First Coast News, collected more than 37,500 school supplies to benefit Full Service Schools and Achievers For Life, two initiatives led by United Way and several of it’s funded partners.
This was a record-breaking year for Stuff the Bus, collecting more than 12,000 items over last year’s record-setting 25,000. Materials collected will help fill school-supply gaps in classrooms for the 2017-2018 school year.
Stuff the Bus school-supply collection began July 1 with more than 36 United Way corporate partners participating. JM Family/Southeast Toyota Distributors remain the reigning champions of United Way’s corporate partner competition, collecting 16,848 supplies. Ernst & Young took second place with 2,141 supplies donated. In third place, a three-way tie donating 1,700 supplies each, were Crawford Contractor, DCI Collect and TD Bank. Honorable mentions to Diversified Port Holdings, C2C Innovative Solutions, Inc. and Bank of America with supplies donated ranging from 1,500 to 1,600.
Prizes for the winning corporate partners included: team building fun at Autobaun Indoor Speedway (first place) and a package of Jacksonville Jaguars tickets (second place).
Stuff the Bus culminated on a school-supply drop-off day at The Markets at St. Johns Town Center, where hundreds of Northeast Florida residents dropped off supplies that were then loaded into a school bus on site. Monday, Aug. 7, volunteers from TD Bank unloaded the school bus and sorted the supplies at the duPont Center for distribution to the schools.
As a result of Stuff the Bus, thousands of students and teachers across Northeast Florida will have a more successful school year.
“Change doesn’t happen alone, and the community’s eagerness to collect and donate was amazing,” said Phyllis Martin, United Way’s head of community impact and strategic investments. “We are so thankful to our partners, volunteers and donors for reacting to this need. Classrooms in need will be much more prepared to achieve great success this school year.”