United Way of Franklin County is once again coordinating its annual school supply donation drive, Stuff the Bus, to help prepare students for learning in the fall at all five Franklin County school districts. Due to COVID-19, United Way is hosting both virtual and traditional drives through Aug. 7.

“This is the eighth year we’ve coordinated Stuff the Bus, and it is more important now than ever given the impact of COVID-19. School this year may look very different, but the need for school supplies remains and, in fact, has grown because of the increased financial stress on many families,” said Amy Weibley, communications and community impact director for United Way of Franklin County. “To accommodate donations during the pandemic, we are encouraging participation virtually through our Target and Walmart registries, but also have limited in-person collection sites for those preferring that option.”

Stuff the Bus eases the burden for families, teachers, PTOs and districts as the school year begins, knowing that many students start every year without supplies they need. By mobilizing businesses and residents to donate school supplies, United Way aims to help fill the gap so all local students are prepared for learning in the new school year.

In addition to choosing how to donate items, community members have the option to direct their donations to the school district of their choice: Chambersburg, Fannett-Metal, Greencastle-Antrim, Tuscarora or Waynesboro. Donors can either deliver donations to a collection site in the community they wish to donate to, or they can indicate the district while checking out online.

To donate virtually, people can shop for supplies using one of the following registries:

n Target Registry: tgt.gifts/stuff-the-bus-fc or visit target.com and search under “Registries” for “United Way of Franklin County” (Note: To designate your donation to a specific school district, write the name of the district in the “Gift Message” while checking out through Target.)

n Walmart Registry: bit.ly/3ef0axx or visit walmart.com and search under “Registries” for “United Way of Franklin County” (Note: To designate your donation to a specific school district, after ordering through Walmart send an email to aweibley@uwfcpa.org with your name and the name of the district.)

When checking out online, donors should select the option to ship the supplies directly to the United Way office, 182 S. Second St., Chambersburg, PA 17201.

Donations may also be dropped off at any of the following locations through Aug. 7. Donors are asked wear masks when dropping off supplies.

Chambersburg: Patriot Federal Credit Union branches (800 Wayne Ave., 1536 Lincoln Way East, 140 S. Federal St. and 488 Gateway Ave.) and Orrstown Bank branches (1355 Orchard Drive, 625 Norland Ave. and 1725 Lincoln Way East) Fannett-Metal: Orrstown Bank (16400 Path Valley Road) Greencastle: Orrstown Bank (308 Carolle St.) Mercersburg: Orrstown Bank (12 S. Main St.) Waynesboro: Patriot Federal Credit Union branches (626 N. Grant St. and 10933 Buchanan Trail East)

“Every year, the United Way staff team is moved by the overwhelming generosity and kindness of our communities coming together to support local students, teachers, and families by donating school supplies. Every single donation makes a difference,” said Weibley.

The supply list includes:

1.5-inch binders

Backpacks

Calculators

Clorox wipes

Colored pencils

Compasses and protractors

Crayons

Erasers

Facial tissues

Glue and glue sticks

Hand sanitizer

Headphones

Highlighters

Index cards

Jump ropes

Lined paper

Markers

Notebooks

Pens

Pencils

Pencil bags

Playground balls

Pocket folders

Rulers

Safety scissors

Tape

Whiteboards

Monetary donations can also be made on the United Way website. To learn more or donate, visit www.uwfcpa.org.