Seeing the need to expand the annual “Stuff the Bus” school supply drive, United Way partnered with Cullman County Schools and community businesses to launch a new initiative, SCHOOL TOOLS-Helping Cullman County Students Start School Ready to Learn.
“This project was developed to reduce the financial stress for families impacted by COVID-19,” said Becky Goff, executive director, United Way of Cullman County. “Thanks to the support of each of our partners, every K-5th grade student in the Cullman County Schools will receive a box of School Tools.”
Each box, with a retail value of $30, will contain eight essential school supplies to start the year off successfully. Each box will contain: 10-pack of pencils, four Elmer’s Glue Sticks, two packs of Crayola Crayons, Fiskar Scissors, two packs of wide-ruled notebook paper, Crayola colored pencils, multi-pack of Expo markers and a pencil pouch.
“United Way of Cullman County has a vision for our community where there are opportunities for every child to succeed in school.” Goff said. “Our school year might look different this year, but the need to support our families and ensure our students have the tools they need is even greater. We know that being prepared also keeps children motivated and excited."
For more than 40 years, United Way has been a trusted community partner focusing on education, financial stability and health—the building blocks for a quality life and a strong community.
Studies show that children having school supplies of their own can improve grades, creativity, attitudes towards learning, behavior, peer relationships and self-image and that education is the first step to overcoming poverty.
"The support of this project is due largely in part to community business leaders who stand with us and believe that every child should have the tools they need to succeed," said Goff. "This was no easy task, but thanks to the volunteers at United Way, we are hard at work assembling and getting boxes ready to deliver to 10 schools. That is 4,200 boxes and almost 60,000 school supplies with a total resource impact of $127,000 for Cullman County outside of the countless hours of staff and volunteer time."
United Way would like to thank the following sponsors: Premier Bank of the South, Birmingham Fastener, Merchants Bank of Alabama, HomTex, Walmart DC #6006, WestRock, AGCO, HH Technologies, Alfa Insurance Agent Talisa Shikle, Brandin Iron Steakhouse, Bill Smith Buick GMC, Peoples Bank of Alabama, Cullman Electric, RE Garrison, Freedom Insurance Agency, Tyson Foods, Berry, Berry, Little and Chaney, The UPS Store, Holly Pond Animal Clinic, Publix, Payroll Services, Walker Brothers, Stewart Auto Supply and Holly Pond Tire and Lube.
“United Way’s 3rd Annual Stuff the Bus event wrapped up Friday July 17, and exceeded our previous years efforts,” Goff said. “Those supplies donated by community members are being delivered to both Cullman County and Cullman City School administration this week and will benefit all kids K-12th grade.”