SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Southeast Shreveport shoppers on Saturday kept volunteers at the Salvation Army’s Stuff the Bus event hopping all day, or the entire day, according to Julie Searing, development director for the Shreveport Salvation Army.
The event, held annually to help children and their parents with school supplies, this year is dedicated to helping students attending Title 1 schools.
Title 1 schools are identified by the federal government as schools with high numbers or percentages of children from low-income families, making them qualified to receive financial assistance from local educational agencies.
While bell ringers stood next to the familiar red Salvation Army kettles for cash donations in front of the two entrances at Walmart’s 1645 Bert Kouns Industrial Loop location, volunteers welcomed incoming shoppers with a small flyer containing a list – complete with small color photos of the most needed school supplies.
Searing said nearly 30 people volunteered to help in the day-long event, a day in which temperatures hovered in the 90s from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
And shoppers responded, buying nearly $3,000 worth of supplies to donate. There were nine items on the list, but when supplies were unloaded from the bus, Searing said the most popular items were colored pencils, Spiral Notebooks and pocket folders.
Although the money for Saturday’s event won’t be tallied until later this week, volunteers said in addition to the coins often put in kettles, they were seeing bills go in, and not just the George Washington kind of bills, but also $5, $10 and even $20 bills.
Searing said all monetary donations to the Stuff the Bus initiative are earmarked to buy school supplies, which will be taken to the schools either later this week or early next week.
She added the Salvation Army will be buying Lysol wipes and cleaning supplies for those schools, as flu season is approaching, and COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise due to the highly contagious delta strain.
Saturday’s event was the only in-person Stuff the Bus event, but wishing to donate still can drop off supplies and financial donations through Monday at the Salvation Army 147 Stoner Ave. location.
In addition the Salvation Army’s Boys & Girls Club will distribute free back packs to students from 12-3 p.m. August 21, at 2821 Greenwood Ave.
Download the ArkLaTexHomepage app to keep up with the latest top stories, breaking news, weather, sports, and more!