uw stuff bus 2013

More than 100 volunteers supported United Way of Monmouth County's 2013 Stuff the Bus drive, including those pictured here at the Target Middletown collection event.

Farmingdale, New Jersey – United Way of Monmouth County (UWMC) has just completed its annual Stuff the Bus drive for school supplies with more than double the amount of donations and engaged volunteers compared to 2012, marking the 2013 Stuff the Bus drive as the most successful one to date. UWMC began the Stuff the Bus drive in order to meet the growing demand for school supplies in the community, as it is designed to help ensure that all children begin the school year with the tools required to succeed. 

“In a time when public school teachers nationwide are spending over $1.6 billion annually out of pocket on supplies for their classroom, the need for these items is clear,” says Timothy C. Hearne, Jr., President and CEO of United Way of MonmouthCounty. “This drive also helps relieve the financial burden placed on parents to fulfill their child’s supply list for the year.”

By working directly with the Asbury Park, Freehold Borough, Keansburg, Keyport, Long Branch and Red Bank school districts, UWMC has been able to identify the most needed items for their students. UWMC has partnered with these schools to address the growing academic achievement gap in MonmouthCounty, which is the disparity between the academic performances of students from low and high socioeconomic statuses.

Stuff the Bus events took place at five local stores: Target of Howell, Target of Manalapan, Target of Middletown, Target of Ocean Township and Walmart of Freehold. The donations collected from these events, as well as from 32 local companies and organizations that ran the drive internally, amassed to more than 900 backpacks and a total of over 27,500 items distributed throughout the county. The success of the drive would not have been possible without the generosity of the community and the help of 100 volunteers at the store events and in the UWMC warehouse counting and sorting donations.  

To participate in next year’s Stuff the Bus drive or the upcoming Warmest Wishes drive for children’s winter outerwear, please contact Kaarina Romero at 732-938-5988, ext. 2042.

To learn more about United Way of Monmouth County’s Community Impact initiatives on education, income and health and its work with rebuilding Monmouth County, visit www.uwmonmouth.org.