This weekend, when you buy certain back-to-school items, you won’t pay sales tax on those items. The sales tax holiday is a cost-savings for parents purchasing the items needed to get kids off to a good start for the school year. It is also a great time to purchase supplies to donate to students who can’t afford new back-to-school items.

The United Way is holding its 4th Annual “Stuff the Bus” project this weekend and we encourage everyone who is able to contribute to helping our students start the new school year right.

Items needed include notebooks, pens, pencils, glue sticks, index cards, binders, scissors, crayons, colored pencils, and hand sanitizer.

In addition to the main drop off location at the Cullman County Courthouse, 13 businesses have partnered with United Way of Cullman County to collect school supplies at their business locations; just look for the “Stuff the Bus” signs. If you can’t get out to shop this weekend, you can always send a donation to United Way of Cullman County, 304 1st Ave. NE, Cullman, AL 35056 designated for school supplies.

Stuff the Bus isn’t the only opportunity to give. The Cullman Research Center, for example, donate 140 pounds of school supplies and canned goods to Cullman Caring for Kids this week. As a business that’s new to Cullman, the Research Center wanted to show its support of the community. They identified the need for school supplies and food to help students and their families begin the school year.

Hunger is a real problem for students. According to Feeding America, one in every five children in Alabama are facing hunger. Studies have shown that children who experience any level of food insecurity perform worse educationally than their peers. Even before they are old enough to start school, children who don’t have enough to eat are already cognitively, emotionally and physically behind their peers, according to Children’s Health Watch.

Cullman County is a generous community and no more so than when it comes to looking out for the well-being of our children. This weekend, we encourage all who are able to stuff the bus full of school supplies to ensure students have a great first day of school and are ready to learn. And, if you can, consider making a donation to Cullman Caring for Kids or other food banks in our area. These are little ways we can show students how much their community supports and cares for them.

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