Stuff the Bus to help local preschoolers

Stuff the Bus to help local preschoolers

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The United Way of Tuscarawas County will partner with HARCATUS Head Start for a Stuff the Bus event during the upcoming Ohio Tax Free Weekend Friday, Aug. 5 and Saturday, Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the New Philadelphia Walmart.

Volunteers will be stationed at each entrance with a list of needed items, along with collection boxes. The boxes will then be delivered to the school bus parked in the lot. Items collected will be inventoried and later distributed to Head Start classes throughout Tuscarawas County.

Alternatively, for those who are unable to participate that weekend, collection boxes are located at the individual Parkway Auto Group dealerships on Commercial Parkway in Dover and McInturf Realty in New Philadelphia. Battle Motors, Edward Jones-Kiley and Mitch Kendall, First Federal Community Bank, and Novogradac will hold employee collections.

Each year more than 300 preschoolers start the school year lacking adequate supplies to make their educational experience a success. HARCATUS Head Start serves families with incomes at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level. Head Start serves children age 3-5.

“The continued partnership between the United Way of Tuscarawas County and HARCATUS Head Start to promote early childhood learning fits perfectly into our goal of kindergarten readiness for all,” said Robin Waltz, United Way of Tuscarawas County president. “The Stuff the Bus event alleviates the stress of back-to-school expenses for families and allows children to focus on their preschool education with the tools they need to be successful.”

Brooke Yager, HARCATUS Head Start director, said, "I truly believe it takes a community to support children to be successful in life. With that being said, we are excited to partner with the United Way’s Stuff the Bus event for our program. All items donated will help children within our community. From the donations to the volunteers holding the event, we appreciate all the support."

There is a need for a number of nontraditional back-to-school supplies. Higher demand items include pull-ups, unscented baby wipes, crayons, socks/underwear, tissues, glue, washable markers and more. A full list of needed items can be found at www.tuscunitedway.org/events. Cash donations also will be accepted with checks payable to United Way of Tuscarawas County.

Call United Way of Tuscarawas County at 330-343-7772 or email susanr@tuscunitedway.org.