The school buses parked at the Alcoa and Maryville Walmart store on Saturday, Aug. 6., drew crowds of folks ready to give generously.
The annual Stuff the Bus event organized by the Blount County Education Foundation drew more than 100 volunteers, said board president Linda Whitehead.
“It was a wonderful event,” she said. “We were very pleased.”
Shoppers donated backpacks, calculators, paper, pencils, folders, markers and other needed schools supplies from a list compiled by Blount County teachers.
“It was just a lot of the items the children really need,” said Whitehead. “This year we were able to also raise $1,700 in monetary donations. It was phenomenal. Even in this economic situation, people were still willing to help with the education of our children.”
The community-wide school supply drive is held every year during tax-free weekend to generate needed school supplies for Blount County classrooms and students.
Members of the BCEF, along with more than 100 students, teachers and administrators from the Blount County School System, proudly wore bright yellow T-shirts from Pokeys & Sports as they collected thousands of school supplies at Walmart stores in Alcoa and Maryville.
Cheerleaders from William Blount and Heritage high schools were also at the event to encourage Walmart shoppers to donate school supplies, which were placed in on-site school buses provided by Huffman Bus Services.
“It was the best Stuff the Bus to date, thanks to generous contributions made by so many wonderful people in Blount County as well as our volunteers and sponsors.” said Susan Stout, a BCEF board member and sales executive with Blount Today, which was the event’s media sponsor.
For more information about Stuff the Bus or to donate, contact the BCEF at 865-980-1169, or visit the BCEF online at www.blountcountyeducationfoundation.org.