Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Stuff the Bus: 2 Live United Stories

It has now been nearly three weeks since we held Stuff the Bus, and the stories seem to keep coming.

In case you don't know, Stuff the Bus is a program that United Way started four years ago in the Northwest Arkansas area. The program is designed to collect school supplies for students who might not be able to afford the right tools to start learning on day one.

This year we raised an estimated 75,000 supplies over the course of two days sitting in front of Walmart locations across the region. While many of these supplies go to the local school system for children to access, several thousand went to stuff more than 2,100 backpacks full of supplies so that kids could have all the tools they needed on day one.

In a previous post, I talked about how heartwarming it was to see kids getting backpacks. What was more heartwarming, though, were the stories of some of the people giving supplies.

During one of the Stuff the Bus collection days, one of our staff members relayed a story about how for the third year in a row, twin little girls had saved money all year just so they could buy school supplies for kids that were less fortunate. Over the course of a year they were able to save about $13, which went to buy a cartload of supplies.

Just this week, another little boy came in to our office with a large tub filled with supplies. As he was giving them to us, he said that he had a birthday party recently, and instead of presents, he asked that people bring school supplies to help our program.

When I heard both of these stories, my jaw dropped. Sure, I am social aware now, but I certainly wasn't at a very young age.

It just continues to show me what I already believed to be true, the smallest gift or the smallest voice, turn out to be some of the most powerful.

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