Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

United Way prepares for Stuff the Bus drive for school supplies

Retailers are catching up with the desires of donors and have been planning ahead for the eighth annual Stuff the Bus school supplies drive, which United Way of Hernando County will launch Friday.

"We've noticed that a lot of community members look forward to this event, taking advantage of sales and stockpiling supplies (in advance)," said Angie Bonfardino, United Way interim executive director.

Pharmacies, office supply outlets, craft shops, supermarkets and big-box stores over the past few weeks have hyped cents-off sales on markers, folders, index cards, notebook paper and the like.

As of last week, 159 teachers in Hernando district schools and one private school had submitted their wish lists of supplies for students, who will return to classrooms Aug. 18.

The school district provides textbooks. Students' families are expected to provide most everything else. Often, teachers dip into their own pockets to provide supplies for kids from families that can't afford them. Thus, campaigns such as Stuff the Bus ease the financial burdens of parents, guardians and teachers alike.

Teachers listed their wishes this year for, among other things, 1,426 composition books, 1,024 three-prong folders, 992 glue sticks, 492 pairs of scissors, 318 packs of mechanical pencils, 883 packs of colored pencils and 856 boxes of crayons.

For donors who prefer not to shop, gift cards are welcome.

"Our community is very generous when it comes to monetary gifts as well," Bonfardino said. "We don't touch that money until we've used all the items we received, filling all teacher wish lists. We shop economically for what we didn't get, what we're short of."

Last year, for instance, gift cards were used to purchase adult-sized scissors for high school students and dollar-priced dictionaries and thesauruses.

The drive runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday at 11 locations across the county, with yellow school buses staffed by teachers who submitted wish lists along with volunteers from United Way member agencies. The school district provides the buses; district drivers volunteer their services.

As a new incentive, every teacher who volunteers to staff a bus will receive a stuffed backpack to give to a needy student.

Along with donors who have been stockpiling supplies, the Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce last week gave a kick-start to the drive with those attending the chamber's monthly breakfast meeting contributing student supplies.

Contact Beth Gray at

>>Fast facts

Stuff the Bus

What: A solicitation for school supplies for students

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday

Where: Publix stores at Seven Hills, Barclay, Glen Lakes, Avalon, Mariner Commons, Brooksville Square and Hernando West; Walmart Supercenters on Broad Street in Brooksville and on Cortez Boulevard and Commercial Way in Spring Hill; and the Walgreens at Commercial Way and Forest Oaks Boulevard.

United Way prepares for Stuff the Bus drive for school supplies 07/30/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 7:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. We knew Aguayo was a goner, and 'Hard Knocks' still delivers


    Tuesday night's second installment of Hard Knocks, the HBO show that is going behind the scenes at training camp with the Bucs, had plenty of interesting tidbits, revelations and insights.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) kicks during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Taco and Beer Fiesta set for St. Pete, followed by the Ooze and Booze Fest

    Food & Dining

    The Gulf to Bay Food Truck association recently announced a trio of events for mobile comfort food lovers.

    The big a-- nachos are tortilla chips topped with pulled pork, chili, cheese sauce, salsa, chopped jalenpenos, feta cheese and cilantro sour cream from Maggie on the Move. [Gulf to Bay Food Truck Association]
  3. After monument vote, Confederate activist named to Hillsborough County diversity council


    TAMPA — Moments after Hillsborough County commissioners made uncertain a previous decision to move Tampa's Confederate monument, they voted to put the area's most vocal advocate of Confederate causes on a citizen committee to promote diversity. 

    David McCallister won a spot on Hillsborough County's Diversity Advisory Council on Wednesday.
  4. Officials search for prisoner who escaped from Hernando County landfill


    BROOKSVILLE — An inmate has escaped from a Hernando County landfill where he and two other inmates were assigned to a work detail, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said.

    Joshua Holmes, 35, escaped while working at a Hernando landfill. [Hernando County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Mayor of historic African-American city endorses Chris King for governor


    The mayor of Eatonville, a town near Orlando that was incorporated in 1887 as one of America's first all-black cities, today endorsed Winter Park businessman Chris King for governor. Mayor Eddie Cole said he has seen King's character first hand:

    Eddie Cole