Stuff the Bus raises $20,000 in cash and school supplies

More than 60 volunteers helped collect more than $20,000 in cash and basic school supplies Saturday Aug. 8, at Wal-Marts in Alcoa and Maryville

The Blount County Education Foundation organized The Stuff the Bus event to get supplies for teachers and students as the school year begins. The event was held on the no sales-tax weekend.

P.J. Silver, director of the Blount County Education Foundation, said the supplies people donated included everything from pencils and notebooks to paper and crayons. “Teachers recognize students who come through the door without what they need, and they let us know. and it is distributed directly to the schools for the kids,” she said.

Silver said that later in the year when teachers have needs, they can contact the foundation for help. “Instead of spending their money, they contact us and we take it to the school. It’s a year-round program,” she said. “This is our only collection day but we have so much we offer it year round.”

Silver said this is the third year the foundation has held the Stuff the Bus promotion. The items are kept at Eagleton Middle School. “Supplies are available for any of the 12,000 students in any of our 21 schools,” she said.

Silver thanked Maryville Wal-Mart manager Melvin Covington and Alcoa Wal-Mart manager Boyce Smith for their help. She also recognized John Huffman and Brad Long for providing school buses at each location. “The buses sat out front and that attracted attention,” she said.

Silver also thanked foundation board members Susan Stout and Janet Gilson for being site coordinators. “And of course I want to thank the volunteers,” she said. “There were tons and tons of volunteers and donors.”

For information or to make a donation, contact the foundation at 865-983-5244 or email

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