PORT RICHEY — An army of volunteers fanned out throughout Pasco County for the 2014 Stuff the Bus campaign to collect school supplies.
Sponsored by United Way of Pasco, the 4-year-old event coincided with the statewide, tax-free holiday on school supplies at stores.
“Many of our school teachers spend more than $400 each year to supply their classrooms,” Duggan Cooley, United Way of Pasco president and CEO said in a press release. “We think that’s a lot to ask of a teacher.”
After the collection campaign, volunteers Monday and Tuesday packed one box apiece for local teachers to deliver to more than 80 schools.
Theresa Jackson of New Port Richey was among volunteers at 14 Publix supermarkets or Walmart stores. She served at the Publix store located at Regency Crossing in Port Richey.
Taryn Kupczyk, 14, a student at J.W. Mitchell High School, helped at the Publix store at Mitchell Ranch shopping center in Trinity. She was recruited by her mom, Kathy Kupczyk, a sixth-grade language arts teacher at River Ridge Middle School.
Amy Barth, 19, spent some time at the Trinity site with her mom, Xan Barth, a second-grade teacher at Trinity Elementary School.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services employee Kelly Landsberg, of Port Richey, distributed the lists of suggested school supplies to patrons at the River Crossing Publix store.
In quick order, donations began filling buses with items such as #2 pencils, loose-leaf paper, composition notebooks, crayons, colored pencils, highlighter pens, dry-erase markers, hand sanitizer, three-prong folders with pockets, paper towels, tissues, Band-Aids, paper plates, plastic cups and much more.