Help 'Stuff the Bus' over tax free weekend

By  | 

It is once again time to help "Stuff the Bus" and send kids in the Shenandoah Valley back to school with the supplies they need.

The Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office held its Stuff the Bus event from July 5-7, where they collected enough supplies to fill backpacks for 760-780 students.

The Augusta, Staunton, and Waynesboro; Harrisonburg and Rockingham; and Page districts are holding their Stuff the Bus supply drives over tax free weekend, from August 2-4.

The Salvation Armies of Harrisonburg, Staunton, and Waynesboro are also helping out with the drive.

Volunteers will be collecting supplies from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Walmart stores in Harrisonburg, Dayton, Timberville, Staunton, Waynesboro, and Luray. There will also be a box to collect supplies at the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Port Republic Road.

School supplies will stay in the city or county where you donate them.

“When a child walks into the classroom with a full backpack, they focus on what’s important,” said Laura Toni-Holsinger, Executive Director of the United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. “We’re committed to ensuring every child begins the school year on an even playing field.”

The United Way of Greater Augusta said they are looking to collect $60,000 in supplies. Last year, volunteers collected almost $56,000 in supplies. All supplies collected go to local schools to be distributed to students.

They base their numbers on data for free or reduced lunches in local schools. In Augusta County, about 41% of students are on free or reduced lunches. In Staunton, that number is 55% and in Waynesboro, 62%.

The ultimate goal is to help the nearly 7,700 students in the Greater Augusta area that may not have the means to start their school year properly.

In Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, the United Way collected almost $102,297 in supplies last year. This year, they are hoping to collect $110,000 worth of supplies.

Supplies go to classrooms in the area and Stuff the Bus assists all students in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County Public Schools. The United Way estimates that accounts for almost 17,300 students.

Page One collected around $25,000 in supplies last year. They are aiming to collect the same amount or more this year.

In addition to donating supplies, they still need volunteers, especially at the Dayton and Timberville locations. Click here to volunteer at Harrisonburg or Rockingham County locations or here to volunteer at Greater Augusta locations.

Any school supplies can be donated. The United Way of Greater Augusta said there is always a strong need for plain colored (non-character) backpacks and the supplies needed most are #2 pencils and notebooks (one subject and three subject) since they are used in all grades, unlike supplies like crayons and glue sticks that are more needed by elementary students.

You can learn more about volunteering with the United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County here or the United Way of Greater Augusta here.

If you cannot volunteer but are interested in holding a supply drive at your workplace, email Amanda Leech at amanda.leech@uwhr.org for more information.

Here is a list of the most needed supplies requested for donation:


  • Glue sticks
  • #2 Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Pens
  • Backpacks
  • Wide-ruled and college-ruled notebook paper
  • Index cards
  • Construction paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tape
  • White bottled glue
  • Colored pencils
  • Crayons
  • Thick and thin markers
  • 3-ring Binders (1” or 2”)
  • Erasers
  • Pencil boxes/pouches
  • Paper towels
  • Earphones/headphones
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Spiral 1-subject notebooks
  • Marble composition books
  • 2-Pocket folders
  • Tissues
  • Highlighters
  • Dry erase markers
  • Rulers
  • Ziploc bags
  • Binder Dividers