The annual Stuff the Bus project was held Monday morning at Stingray Chevrolet. The group will send 1,250 book bags filled with supplies to 28 local schools.
The Kiwanis’ Stuff the Bus project has changed thousands of lives over the past decade as the group expanded its program to get book bags and school supplies into the hands of local students.
This year, the stakes are even higher. As the U.S. continues to grapple with the ever-surging COVID-19 pandemic, the upcoming school year has placed immeasurable stress on families and educators alike.
“We do this because of our passion for the kids,” Sharon Moody, Kiwanis member and organizer of the event, said. “With everything going on in the world now with the pandemic, I’m quite sure that everyone — the teachers, the parents and the students — would appreciate every little bit of help they can get.”
Steve Hurley always allows the organization to use a large room at Stingray Chevrolet for storage and the assembly of the bags. On the morning of the big event, volunteers from the Plant City High School Key Club, Kiwanis Club members and the Gibbs family worked with tables upon tables of pens, pencils, highlighters, composition notebooks, paper and other necessary items.
The routine is down to a science at this point. Volunteers grabbed backpacks from tables labeled for each school. They filled and returned them, then picked up another. In a matter of hours, all 1,250 book bags were filled with more than 40 going to each school.
This year, Unity In The Community donated $10,000 to the Kiwanis Club of Plant City for the Stuff The Bus project.
The backpacks will be delivered to 28 schools in Area 5 on Aug. 3 by Kiwanis volunteers. The schools know which of its students are most in need and the guidance counselors are in charge of distributing to said students. Moody said if you are in need of a book bag, you can go to the guidance counselor when the school year starts and request one until they run out.