Giving: United Way's annual stuff the bus on roll for students

August 2, 2013
Author: Amy Shepherd | The Salt Lake Tribune

Imagine a school bus empty of children, but crowded with pencils, pens, erasers, notebooks, binders, crayons and other miscellaneous school supplies. United Way’s Stuff the Bus campaign is all about that image.

In the last several years, United Way of Salt Lake started a new focus on education, with the slogan "Cradle to Career."

To help with that goal, United Way of Salt Lake started its Stuff the Bus campaign three years ago, and community support has been growing, says Amy Worthington, this year’s Stuff the Bus campaign coordinator.

She attributes one reason for the growth to what the organization refers to as a "Collective Impact Model." Under this model, United Way works with other local charities and businesses to provide more ways for individuals to donate. It is about combining resources and working together toward the same goal, rather than trying to achieve the same goal in each organization individually.

Local businesses including Discovery Gateway, for example, work with United Way by sponsoring drives at their location. On Aug. 12, Discovery Gateway will be accepting school supply donations in lieu of regular admission fees.

This year’s goal is to fill 5,000 backpacks. The group is accepting donations through Aug. 31. The school supplies will support communities in Salt Lake, Davis, and Summit counties. Some specific schools or organizations served are Boys and Girls Club of South Valley, Kearns Junior High, Cottonwood High School and Granger Elementary.