“Fill The Bus,” an initiative led by Walmart and United Way of Anderson County Inc., helped provide much-needed school supplies to the ADFAC School Supplies Program. ADFAC (Aid To Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties Inc.) provides grade and school specific supplies to an expected 2,500 K-12 students throughout Anderson County. Walmart stores in Clinton and Oak Ridge participated as collection sites for donations.
During the week of July 26-August 4, at both entrances of the Walmart stores, customers were invited to donate school supplies. The concept was that, as customers were purchasing supplies for their own children or grandchildren, they could purchase a few extra for the ADFAC School Supplies Program.
During Tennessee’s sales tax holiday, August 1-3, Walmart in Oak Ridge invited First Student Inc.-Oak Ridge Schools to provide a “real” bus to be parked outside the store to help publicize and raise visibility for the campaign. First Student Inc.-Oak Ridge Schools also provided assistance in transporting the supplies from the donation boxes to the bus and to the storage facility. Several ADFAC staff and volunteers also assisted with the transferring of supplies.
Becky Hook, ADFAC’s school supply coordinator, noted with excitement: “There must be at least a $1,000 worth of supplies here! It’s always exciting to receive donations coming in for this valuable program, but seeing several organizations and many donors working together to make this a reality is heartwarming.”
Indeed, many hands make light work for this program. It’s a community effort with many organizations, churches, businesses, schools, PTO/PTAs, and individuals jumping in to help pack, sort, deliver, and distribute school supplies to the schools. The program’s goal is for the recipient students to be able to start school ready to learn with a new quality backpack filled with all the necessary pencils and paper (and much more!).