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United Way of the New River Valley changes location of Stuff the Bus fundraiser

Many people experienced unemployment because of COVID-19 so new school supplies could strain family budgets.
Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 7:33 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2020 at 4:45 AM EDT
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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - UPDATE: The United Way of the New River Valley has announced a change of venue for its 11th annual Stuff the Bus campaign.

For the last ten years, the school supply drive has been held at Walmarts in Christiansburg and Radford. But because of COVID-19, the organization will hold a drive-thru drop-off event at its office building, 111 West Main Street, Christiansburg.

The event is still July 25 from 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.

ORIGINAL: The return of school in many hometowns is just over a month away. Even though some families don’t yet know exactly what the school year will look like, we all know kids will still need school supplies.

Every year donations made through the Stuff the Bus campaign help hundreds of kids start the school year off right. And this year, the United Way of the New River Valley anticipates the need will be even higher because COVID-19 has left many families unemployed.

“You’re only one opportunity or one disaster away from needing help,” Lois Davis, the organization’s business manager, said. “You just never know what tomorrow is going to bring. So nobody should feel bad for needing help and just be thankful that we’re able to be here to help.”

Davis said it’ll take the whole community to help provide school supplies for anyone who needs it. She said adding a second notebook or pack of markers along with your own kids school supplies can go a long away.

Typically, the biggest need is backpacks and supplies like calculators and protractors for older kids.

If you don’t know what to get, walk down any school aisle in Wal-Mart and grab what you see. There are also supply lists at most of the Wal-Marts for you to look over.

Davis also suggested adding a notebook or two with your groceries throughout the month is an easy way you can spend a little extra and not hurt the bank.

No matter what’s going on in the world, though, every year she’s amazed by how much the community rallies together for these kids.

“I just want to thank everyone in the New River Valley, the community, for everything you do. You know, just the little bit of help every now and then, if everyone chips in a little bit, it makes for a big community,” Davis said, choking back a tear. “I’m sorry, I get emotional when I think about it. But you know if everyone pitches in, we can do great things in this area. "

All month, bins will be placed at Wal-Marts throughout the NRV for people to drop off their donations. There are also several Wal-Marts participating in other parts of the region for their own Stuff the Bus campaigns.

Saturday, July 25, buses from Montgomery County, Floyd County and Radford will be set up all day at the Wal-Marts in Christiansburg and Radford/Fairlawn for the United Way’s big collection drive.

For more information on what and how to donate, click here.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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