The Stuff-A-Bus program returns to help needy kids this fall.

While many Long Islanders were vacationing in August, volunteers with the United Way of Long Island’s Stuff-A-Bus Program were gathering school supplies that they’ll donate to needy local students in September.

The initiative, now in its 11th year, aims to help more than 7,000 low-income students succeed by giving them the critical gear they need, including pencils, markers, notebooks, rulers, and backpacks. Volunteers will donate the supplies on Sept. 11 — Community Service Day — to students in 12 schools across 10 districts.

“Stuff-A-Bus is an incredibly important program that directly impacts young students’ success in the classroom,” said United Way of Long Island President and CEO Theresa A. Regnante. “It provides a confidence boost and motivation to learn for children whose families may not be able to afford new notebooks or other needed school supplies.”

Since 2008, Stuff-A-Bus has helped deliver 850,000 items to more than 35,000 children. The 10 districts in which students will receive the donations are Brentwood, Central Islip, Copiague, Freeport, Huntington, Longwood, Roosevelt, South Country, South Huntington, and Wyandanch.

“The students here at Loretta Park Elementary School are so grateful to be recipients of United Way of Long Island’s Stuff-A-Bus program,” said Bob McCarthy, principal of Loretta Park Elementary School in Brentwood, the community where the program started. “They always anticipate the arrival of the bus and they can’t wait to unpack all their new things and get started using them.”

Sponsors of the program include Suffolk Transportation Service Inc., Huntington Coach, LLC, East End Bus Lines, Baumann Bus Company, Educational Bus Transportation, Inc., Long Island Nets, The Boxery, Village Office Supply, and National Grid.

“I could have never imagined that Stuff-A-Bus would have this tremendous impact when we started 11 years ago,” said Suffolk Transportation Service, Inc. President John Corrado. “I am incredibly proud to have been part of this program from the start, and to see all the lives that have been touched by something as small as a pencil.”

To learn more about Stuff-A-Bus, visit unitedwayli.org/stuffabus

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