Because of those who made donations, as well as volunteered in many ways, it was another successful year for Stuff the Bus, WOWT’s annual back-to-school drive to collect school supplies for Omaha-area children in need.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) was an event sponsor and provided its parking lot as a drop off location for the drive on July 30. Additionally, BCBSNE volunteers assisted in collecting supplies from donors as they stopped by. “We are proud to support the Stuff the Bus effort, especially during this unforgettable year,” said Kathy Nellor, BCBSNE’s health transformation leader. “We want every student, family and teacher to know someone has their back. Anything we can do to help children thrive in school is an investment in the healthy future of our communities.”

School supplies and cash donations were also accepted at area Godfather’s Pizza locations in July. The items were then delivered to Completely KIDSsm where 21 volunteers sorted and boxed them. From there, the supplies were delivered to nine nonprofit agencies who will match the items to the children they serve.

Collective for Youth organized the drive. The agency advocates, facilitates resources and provides training for out-of-school-time program providers. “There’s just something really neat to see about the collective community,” said Nicole Everingham, development director at Collective for Youth. “When nonprofits and businesses work together to support kids and their families, it helps ensure the kids have educational success. Kids feel successful before they walk into school when they have those supplies and feel like they are supported.”

Completely KIDS provides after-school programming and other services for youth and their families who are at high risk of, or are, living in poverty. “Many times, parents of the families we serve have to decide whether to pay the light bill or put food on the table,” said Adrielle Griffin, Completely KIDS’ chief marketing and development officer. “When we can provide school supplies, especially through our partners, it eases the transition back to school. The back-to-school drive is especially important this year because we don’t know what will happen because of COVID-19. It’s important that each child has their own supplies, so they don’t have to share.”

“We are really appreciative of all our partners who help with this event,” Griffin added. “It helps give the kids some sense of normalcy.”

“Every single item donated will be put to good use,” said Everingham. Find out how many items were collected.

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