It should be a time of lighthearted anticipation when kids think about taking new classes and seeing old friends, and their biggest concern is saying goodbye to summer fun.
But for some students, the upcoming season is peppered with anxiety, as their parents struggle to purchase a long list of pricey school supplies.
To help get students off to a great start this fall, the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, is holding a Stuff the Bus campaign Aug. 1-9.
“This is the very first time that we’ve ever done something like this,” said Sonya Johnson, the Billy Graham Library’s promotions manager. “We really wanted to be able to engage with our own community and help our community right here in the Charlotte area.”
A big, yellow school bus will be parked near the entrance of the Library during the first week of August. Visitors are encouraged to stop by Monday to Saturday (closed on Sunday) and stuff the bus with backpacks, notebooks, crayons and other school supplies.
Johnson is particularly excited that Stuff the Bus coincides with a free children’s event on Aug. 2 called “Sharing God’s Love.”
At that event, which includes fun, family activities and music, children in kindergarten through fifth grade will learn about serving others. To help put the lesson into action, organizers are encouraging families to bring school supplies to donate to the campaign.
“There are so many children today whose families are on such a tight budget, and they just need a little extra help,” Johnson said. “We want every child to have an equal opportunity to do well at school, to feel good about themselves and know that people care.”
Anyone interested in taking part in Stuff the Bus is invited to bring new school supplies to the Billy Graham Library between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Aug. 1-9 (closed on Sunday).
“Folks can come by and drop off their donations, and we hope they can come inside and take some time to visit with us by taking the Journey of Faith (tour) or even just pop in to have some lunch,” Johnson said.
Plan a visit to the Billy Graham Library.
Register for the free Sharing God’s Love children’s event on Saturday, Aug. 2.
Suggested Stuff the Bus items: Pencils, pens, crayons, highlighters, erasers, loose-leaf paper, spiral notebooks, composition books, folders, three-ring binders, calculators, rulers, compasses, backpacks, lunch boxes, dividers, pencil boxes, tissues, hand sanitizer, plastic zip bags, glue sticks or bottles, 3.5 index cards, graph paper
Donations will be distributed by Jackson Park Ministries.