Stuff the Bus program supplies students, in need of support
With Goreville Schools’ registration arriving a few weeks earlier this year, coordinators for Stuff the Bus program said they are not entirely ready.
Goreville Schools will conduct registration in the school cafeteria on Tuesday, July 9, from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. and again on Wednesday, July 10 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Entering its fifth year, Stuff the Bus has provided school supplies to hundreds of Goreville students since its inception helping to supply nearly 400 children each year. The program relies on donations from the community to help fund its purchase of supplies that are passed out at registration, such as binders, papers, folders, pencils, crayons, glue and the many other needed items students use each year.
“We’re not looking bad,” said program coordinator Shirley Goins, “But with the cutting of the car show from Freedom Fest, our funding is less this year and registration is earlier.”
Goins said last year a business from Carterville donated a hundred binders, which saved the organization hundreds of dollars, as binders are one of the more costly items Stuff the Bus has provided.
“Binders average around $5.99 and never go on sale,” Goins said. “When a parent finishes an average of $150 in registration fees per student and then saves $40 or $50 on supplies through the program, this help brings out the smiles.”
Without the car show this year, Stuff the Bus program is looking for other sources of revenue. The Freedom Fest fund raising efforts promise a portion of its funds to continue helping Stuff the Bus, but budgets are tight and donations are down all over, Goins said. The Fall Fest celebrated in October last fall helped to raise $80, Goins said, adding that the overall budget of the program is approximately $2,000.00. Last year the program managed to raise $2,500.00 allowing it to extend its giving from kindergarten through 8th grade up to 12th grade.
Denise Lukesh, assistant manager for Goreville’s Dollar General said over the course of the next few weeks the store will host a donation box for shoppers to drop supplies into that are easily purchased in the store. This is the second year the store has helped with the Stuff the Bus program and Goins said it is charitable donations like this that help to make it a success each year.
“We have no complaints,” Goins said. “Our program got its start when the economy was so bad and our women’s group at church was looking for a local ministry. When we started, we said we would do it for five years, but as long as we continue to receive support and have interest in it, we’ll keep it going.”
The Stuff the Bus program will host a booth at the upcoming Freedom Fest parade across the street from the Gospel show, which will have its stage located at the intersection of Broadway and E. Collins Street (between Napa and The Church of Christ). Goins said several charitable organizations and churches throughout Goreville participate each year in helping to fund the program and she is thankful for their efforts.
For more information or contact organizer, Goins said she could be reached at either 618-995-2696, or 618-889-7022.