Neosho Bright Futures will hold their third annual Stuff the Bus event this Saturday, collecting school supplies and other items to assist local students in the upcoming school year.

The organization will have school buses parked outside the Neosho Wal-Mart and Dollar General in Goodman, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday.

"This is something that every student needs to be successful at school and sometimes the parents just don't have the money," said Neosho Bright Futures coordinator Barb Lake. "They don't have the supplies they need for school for learning, that's why we feel it's important, so every kid has the opportunity to learn."

Donations will be distributed to students in the Neosho R-5 School District, while some will also be donated for Abundant Life Church's We Care Fair.

Lake said Bright Futures had great participation in the event last year, part of which contributed to the We Care Fair's 1,200 school supply backpacks donated to local students.

Lake said she also uses the supplies to create backpacks donated directly through the district.

"A lot of the families that we helped last year directly through the school district were families that had an average of three kids, that just couldn't afford the supplies," Lake said. "The supplies average about $50 per student."

School supply lists will be available at both locations on Saturday, and at Wal-Mart, items will be specially marked on the shelves.

Lake said the group will also be collecting jeans, shoes and small sizes of underwear to have on hand throughout the year as the needs arise.

"Our number one request from school nurses is smaller sizes for underwear because kids will have accidents and not always have a change of clothes," Lake said. "Then of course shoes and jeans are always helpful to have on hand for the school year."

Among those donating school supplies on Saturday will be five-year-old Amanda Halbert.

Amanda's mother, Tina, said for her daughter's recent birthday she requested school supplies as gifts, for her daughter to donate to those in need.

"We thought it would be a great idea and she was super excited to help the kids," Tina Halbert said. "We've got two bags full of stuff."

Lake said the Halberts' generosity is appreciated by the Bright Futures group.

"That her daughter wants to do that is pretty amazing," Lake said.

Those who would like to donate school supplies for the upcoming school year but cannot make it to the Stuff the Bus event can drop off donations at the Neosho R-5 Administrative Center, 418 Fairground Road, until the start of the school year.

Lake said there will also be donation bins placed in Wal-Mart.

Meanwhile, Abundant Life Church will hold their annual We Care Fair event Saturday, Aug. 3 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the church.