Communities In Schools wraps up Stuff the Bus drive

Five school buses were filled with supplies to help students in the local area.
Published: Aug. 20, 2023 at 7:16 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2023 at 9:41 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - During Communities in Schools’ annual Stuff the Bus drive, five school buses were filled with supplies to help students in the local area.

Stuff the Bus was held Aug. 18-20; Sunday was the final day for people to fill up school busses with supplies that will be donated to students across New Hanover and Pender Counties.

Kendall Englehart is the communications manager for Communities In Schools of Cape Fear. She said dozens of volunteers worked at five different store locations, encouraging shoppers to donate school supplies.

People were able to pick up a school supply list at the entrance of the store and drop off the donations on the way out.

“There’s a lot of need out there. And the mission of Communities in Schools is to make sure that kids are successful in the classroom. And that starts with being prepared for the new year. A lot of different elements go into that and some of them are just covering students basic needs, and one way that we can do that is to make sure that there’s Pen Paper binders everything they need to be successful in the classroom,” said Englehart.

Each bus was filled from seat to seat with organized bags of all the school supplies a student may need.

“I’m always willing to help out anybody who needs help, kids in particular. I want everyone to be able to have their supplies and not have families have to struggle for them,” said Carrie Westphal, who dropped off a small bag of supplies.

Volunteers worked in two hour shifts and assisted in making sure all of the supplies reached the proper location on the bus. Volunteer Josh Ellerbrok, spent his Sunday afternoon at the Harris Teeter on Mayfair.

He said he wants to help make sure kids have their basic needs met so they can have a successful school year.

“I hope it helps kids not to struggle, you know, with having to worry about how they’re going to get supplies or maybe families that are, you know, money’s tight, and that’s one less thing for them to worry about,” said Ellerbrok.

Many shoppers choose to donate because they understood the difficulty of back to school shopping. Community member Kylie Woodard said she hopes the donations will help support the public school system.

“I just think it’s really important. I benefited from a public school. I have a great job. I really like enjoyed the things that I benefited from my public school in North Carolina. And I think that should be expanded upon rather than being cut back where as looks like it’s going to be happening now,” said Woodard.

Although the doors are closed of Stuff the Bus, members of the community can still donate supplies via the Communities In Schools Cape Fear website.

Social workers will be distributing the supplies to local students. If you are in need of school supplies for the upcoming year, you can reach reach to your schools social worker.