Stuff the Bus campaign promoted by United Way of Frederick County, Surpasses School Supply Collection Expectations in a Challenging Year

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More school supplies collected than ever before!

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“We are deeply appreciative for the Frederick County community which once again stepped up to meet the COVID-19 challenge in our community,” said Ken Oldham, CEO of United Way of Frederick County,

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Frederick County community has rallied behind the Stuff the Bus school supply collection initiative to meet the growing needs of Frederick County Public School students. Approximately 89,500 individual supplies with estimated value of nearly $50,000 has been contributed by generous community donors. In 2019, the previous most successful year, Stuff the Bus collected about 80,000 individual supplies.

The COVID-19 pandemic presented new challenges to Stuff the Bus. For the first time in its 12-year history in Frederick County, Stuff the Bus went mostly digital. Virtual Stuff the Bus was launched in mid-July and yielded about 45,500 individual supplies including 5,000 facemasks. Approximately 35,700 supplies were purchased with grants made available by United Way of Frederick County through the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Campaign and the City of Frederick. An additional 8,125 supplies were collected in traditional dropoff efforts.*

Community partners including Frederick County Public Schools, Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs serving the Frederick Feeder schools, Frederick Stake – Church of Latter-day Saints, Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ, Middletown Valley People Helping People, Glade Family Community Services serving Walkersville, and BEACON (Brunswick Ecumenical Assistance Committee on Needs) helped make Stuff the Bus a huge success.

“We are deeply appreciative for the Frederick County community which once again stepped up to meet the COVID-19 challenge in our community,” said Ken Oldham, CEO of United Way of Frederick County, reflecting on the over $300,000 raised during the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Campaign earlier in 2020.

Major support for Stuff the Bus was provided by the City of Frederick, M&T Bank, Leidos, Evangelical Lutheran Church and LSWG. Over 18 companies and groups organized Virtual Stuff the Bus teams; an additional 18 companies hosted traditional dropoff locations. Habitat for Humanity contributed 5,000 facemasks to the project.

*Estimated supply count for traditional collection based on 125 supplies per bin and 65 bins.

About Stuff the Bus
Since 2008, United Way of Frederick County’s Stuff the Bus has strived to provide every child in Frederick County Public Schools with the basic supplies necessary to be successful in school. Through a communitywide supply collection and fundraising effort, Stuff the Bus has successfully partnered local businesses with the faith community and nonprofits to meet the ongoing school supply need. Stuff the Bus is a major volunteer effort. Each August, hundreds of volunteers jump on buses and travel throughout the county to pick up and sort supplies. Community partners throughout the county, in partnership with Frederick County Public Schools, ensure that supplies are appropriately distributed to students in need.

About United Way of Frederick County
For over 80 years, United Way of Frederick County has been fighting to achieve lasting change by identifying the ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed) families in Frederick County and working to strengthen their education, financial stability, and health to build a strong, viable community. Our work focuses on helping children and youth be successful in school and achieve their potential through education; helping people obtain the tools they need to become financially stable and independent; and ensuring our neighbors in need have access to healthy, nutritious food and healthcare.

United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, health providers, senior citizens, students, and others. The organization provides grants to local nonprofits, offers programs such as free tax preparation and matched savings, mobilizes volunteers, and engages in public policy advocacy. To learn more about United Way and how you can get involved, please visit UnitedWayFrederick.org.

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Shana Knight
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