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United Way aims to Stuff the Bus!, raise more than $400K before Sept. 10
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Kenny Gee, vice president of Conditioned Air Systems, brings a stack of notebooks to place inside of a bus Tuesday at The Little House on Washington Street in Gainesville. Companies involved in the United Way of Hall County 2009 Cornerstone Campaign came together to provide school supplies for Hall County children with an initiative called Stuff the Bus! - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Stuff the Bus!

Donations of school supplies can be dropped off at the following locations:

Wal-Mart parking lots

  • 400 Shallowford Road, Gainesville; 3875 Mundy Mill Road, Oakwood
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 25 both locations

United Way of Hall County

  • 527 Oak St., Gainesville
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 29; also Monday-Friday until Aug. 1

TJ Maxx parking lot

  • 5883 Spout Springs Road, Flowery Branch
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 1

YMCA

  • 2455 Howard Road, Gainesville
  • Monday through Friday until Aug. 1

Stuff the bus and give Hall County students the supplies to start back to school successfully.

United Way of Hall County kicked off a campaign Tuesday to encourage community action, and companies around the county lined bus seats with backpacks, pencils, notebooks and paper for the fall.

This year’s Cornerstone Campaign will encourage employees and community members to give, advocate and volunteer across the county.

"We’re asking companies to come up with volunteer projects on their own, such as blood or food drives, and encourage the employees to get involved and mentor students," said Kelly Lee, campaign chair.

United Way’s 21 Cornerstone Campaign companies plan to raise $430,500 campaign goal before the Sept. 10 community campaign kickoff.

"Action is important, especially because of the economic times we’re in," said Katie Dubnik, Cornerstone Campaign chair. "The community can give time and talent, and Stuff the Bus! is a visual example of the whole group coming together. The bus is already filling up. It’s amazing."

Connie Stephens, executive director for Hall-Dawson Court Appointed Special Advocates, welcomed the group to the new CASA home on Washington Street and named various county programs focused on youth, crisis intervention, self-sufficiency and health that the fundraising helps.

"Without you, we couldn’t be what we are today," she said.

Stuff the Bus! supplies will be given to students during a back-to-school bash on Aug. 8.

"Even in tough times, we can work together to improve lives," Dubnik said. "Needs don’t stop."

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