NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Aug. 3, 2023) – The United Way of Tuscarawas County is asking for everyone’s help restocking the HARCATUS Head Start classrooms for the new school year.
Community Relations Coordinator Susan Reidenbach says their sixth annual Stuff the Bus event is Friday and Saturday at the New Philadelphia Walmart.
“We actually do stuff a school bus. You will see volunteers at the entryway of Walmart and the bus out in the parking lot. We’ll be there from 10 to 6, and they actually hand out the list of items that are top priority, ones that they need the most and use the most throughout the year.”
Brooke Yager directs the Head Start preschool that serves kids ages 3 to 5 from low-income families. She says their wishlist includes traditional school supplies along with pull-ups, tissues, and bandaids.
“A lot of boo-boos. We need those bandaids as well as cotton balls, anything we can use for art – clothes pins, craft sticks, crayons, markers, colored pencils. We like mess, so paint, anything that is going to help a child learn.”
Reidenbach says every contribution makes a difference.
“We have collected over 200,000 items in the six years that we have done this, and that’s every crayon, every pencil, every Kleenex. HARCATUS inventories everything at their sites and locations, and it’s fun to add up all those numbers.”
United Way volunteers will also be accepting monetary donations to pay for anything that’s still needed after the collection, which coincides with Ohio’s tax-free weekend for school supplies and clothing.