SUBSCRIBE NOW
99¢ for the first month
SUBSCRIBE NOW
99¢ for the first month

The Salvation Army Joins Forces with Walmart to ’Stuff the Bus’ for Kids in Need

Patricia Faulhaber
Suburbanite correspondent
The Stuff the Bus collection barrel at the Walmart on the Strip in Jackson Township was in the store for Aug, 7, 8 and 9 so that people could donate much needed school supplies to the special three day collection event hosted by The Salvation Army.

JACKSON TWP. Walmart and The Salvation Army worked together to provide new school supplies to local children in need during the “Stuff the Bus” campaign event at local Walmart stores between Aug. 7-9, which was Ohio’s sales tax holiday weekend.

For kids preparing for the upcoming school year, school supplies remain critical to their success. In light of COVID-19, The Salvation Army has adapted its services to ensure that children in every community can continue receiving the educational support they deserve.

This year, the “Stuff the Bus” campaign event in Stark and surrounding counties was one of more than 4,500 similar events taking place at Walmart stores across the country. Shoppers picking up other items at Walmart could easily purchase and drop off requested items at Salvation Army collection barrels at the entrance/exit of each store.

The drop-off barrels had a list of items being requested including flash cards, pocket folders, rulers, Number two pencils, rulers, three-ring binders, spiral notebooks, scissors, pencil sharpeners and colored pencils.

Director of Social Services Tara Brady said many things were different this year because of the pandemic.

“We not able to man the collection barrels this year because of COVID,” Brady Said. “In the past, we were also able to put a kettle out for monetary donations but couldn’t do that this year. We didn’t get as many items as we hoped, but we got more than what we expected with the pandemic.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, The Salvation Army has provided more than 65 million meals through a combination of prepared meals and food boxes, 1.45 million nights of safe shelter and emotional and spiritual support to more than 778,000 people. That is in addition to the financial assistance, hygiene kits and youth programs the organization provides in almost every zip code in America.

“In past years, local churches also collected school supplies but because the school districts have asked that the least amount of people touch the supplies as possible, some churches have sent us checks and some of their parishioners have also sent in checks,” Brady said. “Plus, instead of distributing the items in backpacks, we are delivering the items directly to the schools for them to distribute.”

For those who were unable to make it to Walmart during those three days, there is a searchable online registry listing items needed; each item requires just one click to purchase.

The Salvation Army is taking monetary donations through Sept. 3 and can be mailed to The Salvation, PO BOX 20249, Canton, OH 4470, with Stuff the Bus in the memo line. People can also call 330-453-0158.

Participating Walmart locations in Stark County were the store on Mega Street in Jackson Township, Atlantic Boulevard in Plain Township and Tuscarawas Street in Canton. In southern Summit County, the location on South Arlington Road in Springfield Township also participated.

Walmart and The Salvation Army have collaborated for more than 30 years in an effort to meet local community needs. Supporters like Walmart help The Salvation Army serve more than 23 million Americans each year through a range of social services that help them overcome poverty and economic hardships.

All donations made at “Stuff the Bus” campaign events will remain in the community to help The Salvation Army provide back-to-school support to local children in need.

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood

To learn more and find out how you can get involved with your local Salvation Army, visit www.salvationarmyakron.org or call 330-762-8481.