'Stuff the bus with as many school supplies as we can possibly fit'

St. Vincent de Paul's annual Stuff the Bus event collects all sorts of school supplies to give to underpriveledged children. (SBG photo)

EUGENE, Ore. - The start of the school year is just weeks away. For some underprivileged students in Lane County, getting school supplies while their families struggle to pay rent, utilities and food can be difficult.

That's why St. Vincent De Paul of Lane County partners with local organizations to help those students start the school year on the right foot.

The non-profit invited shoppers at two Eugene locations to participate in a supply drive Wednesday, filling two 4J school busses at two locations; The West 11th Avenue Staples store and the Greenacres WalMart location.

"We just want to literally to stuff the bus with as many school supplies as we can possibly fit in here," said Ashley Hensley of St. Vince De Paul.

The goal is to fill 3,000 backpacks with school supplies like pencils, paper and glue.

"They start out at a disadvantage anyway and this just gives them a leg up I think," said Michelle Burns, a Eugene 4J Bus Driver volunteering in the supply drive.

Last year, they raised more than $41,000 and handed out 2,400 backpacks to students.

School supplies are also purchased with cash donations collected through the sale of backpack decals.

"Everyone feels good when they can give or donate to somebody else." added Burns.

You can purchase the decals at any Oregon Community Credit Union branch or Bi-Mart store.

"We're just really appreciative to live in a community that's so generous." said Hensley.

This year's school-supply distribution is scheduled for August 31 at SVDP's Lindholm Center, 456 Highway 99 North in Eugene.

To apply for help, call: 541-689-6747 ext. 203

Other ways to help:

Deliver supplies to collection barrels at any of these sites:

Oregon Community Credit Union branches

Bi-Mart stores in Eugene, Springfield and Junction City

St. Jude Catholic Church

Pentagon Federal Credit Union, 400 Country Club Rd., Eugene

OnPoint Community Credit Union

PacificSource Health Plans

Walmart at Delta Oaks Shopping Center

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