The Star-Herald

Community members can ‘Stuff the Bus’

AROOSTOOK COUNTY, Maine — United Way of Aroostook is once again collaborating with the Aroostook County Action Program, Adopt-A-Block Aroostook, the Houlton Walmart, the Presque Isle Walmart, Townsquare Media and Katahdin Trust Company to help Aroostook County children be prepared on their first day of school.  

“Stuff the Bus” provides eligible families with a backpack and school supplies for each qualifying child, from preschool all the way up to their senior year of high school.  Working together, along with the generous support of businesses and many individual donors, the group is collecting new backpacks and school supplies at various locations.  

Community members can purchase premade bags at the Houlton Walmart, drop off supplies at collection boxes located at the Presque Isle Walmart as well as outside the United Way of Aroostook office at the Aroostook Centre Mall.  

 A live radio broadcast will take place from 2-5 p.m. at Walmart in Houlton on Wednesday, July 20, and at Walmart in Presque Isle on Thursday, July 21.   

 “We at Townsquare Media are very excited to be yet again partnering with these organizations and Katahdin Trust Company.  We can all agree that there are very few things more important than our community’s youth and their education,” said Tyler St. Pierre from Townsquare Media. 

“Katahdin Trust Company has always made it a priority to recognize and give back to the communities that support their business.  They have worked on several events with United Way of Aroostook and Townsquare Media, and I am excited to see what their team will bring to the event this year,”  St. Pierre said.

During the live broadcasts, the public is encouraged to come purchase supplies and donate backpacks, notebooks, pencils, pens, crayons, markers, erasers, scissors, three ring binders and any other school supplies to stuff the backpacks with. 

“We want kids to be confident and prepared on their first day of school instead of worried and anxious about not being prepared like many of their fellow classmates,” said Sarah Duncan, executive director of United Way of Aroostook.

“Their first day should be a day of hope and excitement for a new year of learning.  Last year we were able to distribute over 900 backpacks to children who were identified to need [them] the most,” Duncan said.

 Filled backpacks will be distributed by Adopt-A-Block Aroostook and ACAP.  For more information about this program or to see if your child qualifies for this program, contact ACAP at 764-3721.



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