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Stuff A Bus Program Benefits Several Hundred County Students

Members of the Oswego Fire Department pose with the Stuff a Bus banner after making a donation. Patrick Dewine, back left, executive director of the Greater Oswego County United Way, organized the annual event.

Members of the Oswego Fire Department pose with the Stuff a Bus banner after making a donation. Patrick Dewine, back left, executive director of the Greater Oswego County United Way, organized the annual event.

School supplies from Stuff a Bus will be distributed soon.
School supplies from Stuff a Bus will be distributed soon.

OSWEGO, NY – Residents, groups and businesses from around the county helped ensure students who need school supplies when they head back to classes next month will find a bus load of donations, thanks to the United Way.

Roger Sprague, of OCTA, prepares to hoist some donations from ARISE that were delivered by Christine Ward.
Roger Sprague, of OCTA, prepares to hoist some donations from ARISE that were delivered by Christine Ward.

Made possible through a partnership with United Way, school districts throughout Oswego County and several local business and organizations, the Stuff-A-Bus Campaign collects donations of school supplies for distribution to less fortunate students throughout Oswego County.

The program culminated Wednesday with eight buses, at different places around the county, being stuffed full of school supplies. Items donated included plain old pencils to calculators and more – much more.

Individuals, groups, businesses and organizations stopped by to donate at the site nearest them. Some groups had been collecting donations for weeks.

Members of the Oswego Fire Department pose with the Stuff a Bus banner after making a donation. Patrick Dewine, back left, executive director of the Greater Oswego County United Way, organized the annual event.
Members of the Oswego Fire Department pose with the Stuff a Bus banner after making a donation. Patrick Dewine, back left, executive director of the Greater Oswego County United Way, organized the annual event.

Besides school supplies, some donated cash to help the effort.

The annual Stuff a Bus Breakfast, held in Oswego during last month’s Harborfest Weekend, also raised money to help the effort.

That money was used to buy supplies that were added to the county donations.

The buses rolled up to Fitzhugh Park Elementary School, the designated off-loading site, shortly after 3 p.m. and volunteers went about the task of sorting and organizing the donations.

They will finish the organization process on Thursday.

Marion Ciciarelli delivers a car load of back to school supplies from Oswego Health.
Marion Ciciarelli delivers a car load of back to school supplies from Oswego Health.

The seats of each bus were jam-packed with large cardboard boxes and bulging plastic bags instead of school children. The boxes, many of the overflowing with supplies, contained everything from pencils and spiral and composition notebooks (tons of notebooks) to thumb drives and calculators.

The program helps around 1,500 students and their families each year.

School supplies will be handed out to students in their respective school districts as follows:

Carolyn and Nathaniel Ward pose with a sample of the large donation they presented on behalf of AmeriCorps.
Carolyn and Nathaniel Ward pose with a sample of the large donation they presented on behalf of AmeriCorps.

School supplies collected through the Stuff-A-Bus campaign will be distributed to students in their respective school districts, while supply lasts, according to the following schedule.

A copy of your child’s 2015-2016 school report card will be required for entrance to pick up school supplies.

APW – August 26 – 9 to 11 a.m. at the APW Bus Garage

Central Square – August 26 – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Central Square Ed. Center

Fulton – August 26 – 9 to 11 a.m. at Fairgrieve Elementary School

Hannibal – August 26 – 1 to 3 p.m. at Kinney Elementary School

Mexico – August 26 – 8 to 11 a.m. at Mexico Middle School Gym

Oswego – August 26 – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fitzhugh Park School

Phoenix – August 26 – 9 to 11 a.m. at Maroun Elementary School

Pulaski – August 26 – 1 to 3 p.m. at Pulaski Middle / Senior School

Sandy Creek – August 25 – 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Sandy Creek Elementary School Cafeteria.

Dozens of backpacks were donated.
Dozens of backpacks were donated.

School supplies will be available for those who would find it challenging to purchase the supplies that their child need for school.

Volunteers will be on hand to assist and guide the children and to make sure that they get the supplies they really need.

Families are urged to attend the distribution in their school district only.

If there are any supplies not distributed on the above dates, they will be made available to teachers to give to students in their classes who are not able to purchase the supplies they need.

For more information on the Stuff-A-Bus campaign, call Patrick Dewine, executive director of the Greater Oswego County United Way, at 315-593-1900 ext. 201 or visit www.oswegounitedway.org

2017 Campaign Kick Off Coming Up

The United Way of Greater Oswego County is preparing for its annual campaign kick off breakfast.

Scheduled for September 7, the event will be held from 8 – 9 a.m. at the American Foundry, 246 W. Seneca St. in Oswego.

The theme of this year’s campaign is “Share Your Story.”

The campaign helps raise funds for 30 human services programs that are provided through United Way’s partner agencies.

The breakfast is open to the public. The cost to attend is $15 and includes a complete breakfast.

For more information, visit www.oswegounitedway.org or call 593-1900.