Daily News

United Way of Pioneer Valley, Peter Pan Announce Stuff the Bus Program

SPRINGFIELD — United Way of Pioneer Valley and Peter Pan Bus Lines will launch the annual Stuff the Bus campaign with a press-conference event on Friday, July 27 at 11 a.m. outside the Target store at the Holyoke Mall. The campaign will collect new school supplies from July 27 through Aug. 16. The supplies will be distributed in new backpacks to children who are homeless in Chicopee, Holyoke, Springfield, Westfield, West Springfield, and South Hadley.

“Holyoke Mall is proud to be a collection site once again for this important initiative,” said Lisa Wray, the mall’s director of Marketing. “Shoppers purchasing their own back-to-school clothes, shoes, and supplies will have the opportunity to donate supplies for those in need while they’re here. Holyoke Mall stores and employees will also be running their own school-supply drives to support this. Together we can give children the tools they need to succeed in the classroom.”

Added United Way President Kathy Dube, “we believe that every child should have the same opportunity for success in school. By providing backpacks and school supplies for hundreds of children who do not have a permanent home, we are showing the love and support their community has for each of them. Last year, the United Way of Pioneer Valley provided 2,000 backpacks with supplies to children of the community.”

Individuals are encouraged to donate the following age-appropriate supplies: pencil boxes, highlighters, binders, No. 2 pencils, erasers, binders, crayons, pens, glue sticks, rulers, two-pocket folders, and one-subject notebooks.

Donations may be brought to the United Way of Pioneer Valley, 1441 Main St., Suite 147, Springfield, weekdays July 27 to Aug. 16, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Holyoke Mall, upper level, near Target, July 27, 11 a.m. to noon, and Aug. 4 and 11, noon to 2 p.m.; Western Mass News, 1300 Liberty St., Springfield, weekdays July 30 to Aug. 10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; or Balise Kia, 603 Riverdale St., West Springfield, Monday through Sunday, July 27 to Aug. 16, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On Aug. 16 only, those who bring 20 or more items will receive a free ticket at Six Flags New England. This concludes the campaign, where donations can be made in conjunction with National Roller Coaster Day.

Financial contributions are also welcome and will be used to purchase additional backpacks and supplies as needed. Contributions may be made online by clicking the ‘donate’ button at www.uwpv.org.