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COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Non-profit known for its “Stuff the Bus” campaign helps children year-round

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 1:39 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - With the start of the school year now less than two weeks away, parents will be busy buying school supplies for their kids. But not every family will be able to afford that opportunity.

That’s where Communities in Schools Cape Fear steps in, a local local non-profit that helps students and their families. The organization’s annual “Stuff the Bus” campaign is underway now. The organization takes an actual school bus to area locations like Harris Teeter grocery stores and Port City Community Church where the community can donate school supplies. While “Stuff the Bus” is head of the class right now, the organization works 365 days a year.

“We have our big push--the stuff the bus--but we are available for our students all year,” says Keisha Robinson, community programs manager for Communities in Schools. “We are in many of the schools in New Hanover County and schools in Pender County as well. And we are there to eliminate any barriers to education that we possibly can.”

Communities in Schools is a national non-profit recognized as the largest dropout prevention organization in America. The Cape Fear affiliate works to help local students and their families who need assistance.

“We have a young parent program that helps parents who are in school and parenting and in school and some parents who are just young and parenting,” Robinson says. “We help them with different resources as well as parenting tips and techniques--ways to get diapers and when to potty train.”

The community has been extremely supportive even during the height of the pandemic in 2020.

“Especially because we weren’t doing it in person,” she says. “But we did have the Amazon wish list up and we had a lot of organizations and companies that donated the technology to help our students overcome the barriers with remote learning.”

The goal for this year’s “Stuff the Bus” campaign is high, but the organization is confident the community will pass the test with flying colors.

“In the past last year I think we collected $115,000 in supplies so I’d like to try to top that, of course,” Robinson says.

You can help stuff the bus at the following locations now through August 15:

  • The Office Depot at Hanover Center
  • Staples by UNCW,
  • River Lights Marina Village
  • All New Hanover County libraries
  • All Pender County libraries
  • Harris Teeter at Mayfaire
  • Port City Community Church

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