“Stuff the Bus” with school supplies for hundreds of deserving area children.

Sponsored by the Neosho R-5 School District Bright Futures program, Barb Lake, coordinator, encourages citizens to help fill several school buses with supplies for the coming school year on Friday, July 25 and Saturday, July 26.

“We collect school supplies for students in need that don’t have the resources to have what they need for their first day of school,” said Lake. “So, we’ll be collecting school supplies at the Neosho Walmart, Neosho Walgreen’s, and the Goodman Dollar General.”

Lake said buses will be parked at all three locations from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days to collect donated school supplies.

“We accept anything that’s on the school supply list,” she said. “Your general items like paper, pens, crayons, notebooks, all of the things that students need to be successful at school.”

Lake said Bright Futures is also collecting new shoes, underwear and socks for their supply closet.

“That’s one of the biggest needs we get all year round is for shoes for clothing for students who don’t have the proper shoes or clothing to wear to school,” Lake said. “Underwear is a huge item that we need. Usually when we provide a student with clothing, we like to give them a new pair of underwear and socks because if they don’t have the clothing they need, most likely they don’t have the other. And also, some students will have accidents at school and not have extra pairs to go home in, so it’s a huge request by our nurses to help out.”

Lake is also recruiting volunteers for “Stuff the Bus.” She said two-hour shifts are available on both days to accompany the three buses on which donated school supplies will be loaded. Sign up to work a shift by going to: http://vols.pt/jLvVaR.

Lake said some of the collected items will remain in the Bright Futures supply closet to provide school supplies throughout the year to students in need, or to help teachers for needs in their classrooms.

“Like extra pens or pencils for kids, or paper, that we’re able to provide that all year round,” she said.

Lake said some of the items collected for “Stuff the Bus” will be provided to children who attend the “We Care Fair” the following weekend at the Abundant Life Assembly of God church.

“This year,” she said, “we’ve decided to sponsor them with all of the paper that they need.”

Brenda Johnson, Christian education pastor, Abundant Life, said children must be pre-registered to be guaranteed to receive a bag of school supplies at their Aug. 2 “We Care Fair.” Johnson said registration will be conducted – in-person only – at the church, located 700 Spencer Dr., from Monday, July 14, through Friday, July 18, from 1 to 6 p.m. She said the children do not have to be there, but parents or guardians must show up to provide the name, grade and address of their students.

Johnson expects between 1,000 and 1,200 children to attend the “We Care Fair,” and said those who attend and are not pre-registered can receive what school supplies are left over after those who are registered receive their allotment.