MARYSVILLE — There are no big yellow vehicles involved in the local “Stuff the Bus” campaign.
Instead, there are bins all over town where people can donate school supplies to help students who couldn’t otherwise afford them. Volunteers made decorative cardboard school buses to keep with the theme.
The donation drive is headed up by the city, the Marysville Community Food Bank, the Marysville Farmers Market and several local businesses that have offered to host collection bins. The drive started last week and continues until Friday.
School supply drives have been going on for years and have gained momentum each summer, city spokeswoman Connie Mennie said. Last year, there were enough supplies for all of the students whose families get help from the food bank, along with extra supplies to share with the elementary schools.
“That was awesome, and our generous community has the heart and capacity to do even more,” she said.
The goal this year is to cover the needs of every student in the district. That means, for example, collecting 5,175 boxes of crayons, 10,529 boxes of pencils and 21,058 notebooks.
There’s a particular need for backpacks, along with headphones for the Chromebooks students use in school. Glue sticks won’t go to waste for kids in younger grades, Mennie said.
Amy Howell, assistant director at the Marysville Community Food Bank, said they gave out at least 300 bags of supplies last year. Volunteers use school lists to sort the supplies by grade level. About three-quarters of the families served at the food bank have school-age children, Howell said.
They try to gather enough backpacks, but some students get their supplies in plastic bags. Along with backpacks, the food bank struggles to get enough donated compasses, protractors and graphing calculators for middle and high school math classes. All of the essentials — pencils, pens, notebooks, crayons, glue, binders, folders — also are needed.
Though the main drive ends Friday, school supplies can be dropped off at the food bank, 4150 88th St. NE, throughout the summer. On Aug. 19, volunteers plan to be at the Marysville Farmers Market collecting supplies from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“No child should go without,” Howell said. “ … Going into their first day of school and not having school supplies, a child doesn’t need to start off the school year with that on their shoulders. If there’s anything we can do to help those children have a better start, it’s worth it.”
Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; email@example.com.
Supplies can be donated at: City Hall; the Parks, Culture and Recreation building; Community Center; Marysville Police Department; fire station on Cedar Avenue; Marysville Farmers Market; Coastal Community Bank; school district office on 80th Street NE; Heritage Bank; Creo Dentistry; HomeStreet Bank; Marysville Community Food Bank.
Supply lists are online at bit.ly/MSDSchoolSupplies.
Those who need assistance with school supplies can contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 360-658-1054. Supplies are distributed in late August.