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July 16, 2014
Marissa McSeveney and Elle Martter, students at Enchanted Care Learning Center in Marysville, collect items for United Way’s Stuff the Bus school supply drive. Enchanted Care is one of 29 sites collecting donations to fill an entire school bus of supplies by August 1. All items collected will be delivered to schools in the Fairbanks, Jonathan Alder, Marysville, and North Union districts before the start of the school year for distribution to students who need them.
At Enchanted Care Learning Center in Marysville, students are spending their summer savings. They’re conducting a car wash. Organizing a bake sale. Taking donations in the preschool lobby. All with the goal of helping United Way “Stuff the Bus.”

The annual United Way school supply drive has taken a unique turn this year, with 29 local businesses and organizations working to see just how many crayons, rulers, and notebooks they can cram into a local school bus. The collection will end on Friday August 1 when a bus makes the rounds to pick up donations at each location. All donations will be sorted and given to all schools in the Fairbanks, Jonathan Alder, Marysville, and North Union districts before the start of the school year.

“When the bus comes on August 1, our kids will be ready to load their supplies!” said Nicole Vigansky, Principal at Enchanted Care.

This is the fourth year Vigansky’s students have adopted United Way’s school supply drive as a community service project. But it’s with renewed vigor this year that they work to help their peers. After conducting the fundraisers, the kids are taken to the store to buy the items they will donate to the project.

“They get to pick out things they like,” Vigansky said. “Last year, there was a girl who picked out all items with a zebra print because it was her favorite and she wanted another girl to have the same things. It really hit home for her. As adults, we might not think of that.

“We tried to find a project in which the kids could help people their own age,” she said. “It helps them realize that things are expensive, that things cost money, that their parents are buying their school supplies and that there are kids in the community who don’t have those kinds of things. As a child, you might not know that.”

Items being collected (with or without zebra print) include: book bags, #2 pencils, black and blue pens, notebook paper, composition books, three-ring binders, color pencils, crayons, safety scissors, glue sticks, hand sanitizer, tissues, disinfectant wipes, pocket folders, highlighters, and locking plastic baggies.

29 businesses and organizations have signed on to serve as collection sites, taking donations through August 1. Marysville collection sites include: Adecco, Big Lots, Community & Seasoned Citizens, Enchanted Care, First Federal Community Bank, Fifth Third Bank, First United Methodist Church, Huntington, K-Mart, Marysville Public Library, maurices, Memorial Hospital, Midwest Express, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Scotts Miracle-Gro, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, the United Way office, Sumitomo Electric Wiring, Vineyard Church of Marysville, Walmart, and the Windsor & Community Senior Center. Donors can drop off items at Champaign Bank and the Plain City Public Library in Plain City. In Richwood, items are being collected at Cardinal Market, Parrott Implement Company, Richwood Civic Center, Richwood Pharmacy, and Richwood Public Library. On Friday August 1, volunteers will also be collecting outside the Marysville Big Lots, K-Mart, and Walmart.

Corporate support provided by Presenting Sponsors Adecco, the Marysville Association of Realtors, and the Union County Foundation will allow United Way to purchase items that come up short in the collection. Ingram Funeral Home is serving as the Shopping Cart Sponsor. Staff and residents at the Central Ohio Youth Center will sort the collected items for distribution to the local schools.

All families needing to access the supplies collected are encouraged to contact their school guidance counselor at the beginning of the school year.

United Way works to bring neighbors and resources together to improve lives in Union County. United Way of Union County has raised more than $18 million for local needs since it was established in 1958. More than just a fundraiser, United Way collaborates with local businesses, government, and non-profit organizations to solve pressing social service issues large and small.

For more information, please visit www.unitedwayofunioncounty.org.

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