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Stuff the Bus rides again
Family Connection fundraiser provides over 300 backpacks for schoolchildren
stuff bus
Family Connection parked a school bus outside of Kroger July 20 to solicit school supplies and monetary donations to help Dawson County children and families in need this school year. - photo by Joshua Demarest

Anyone who pulled into the Kroger this weekend saw what has become a familiar sight in Dawson County during back-to-school season — a big yellow school bus sitting out front.

Dawson County Family Connection collected donations for their annual Stuff the Bus fundraising campaign on July 20.

The 2019 campaign was a major success. According to Family Connection coordinator Nancy Stites, “over 300 bookbags” stuffed with school supplies will be given out at the start of the school year.

“We want everybody to walk into school the first day and have the same things that all the other kids do, you know? Start on the same level,” said Stites. “I remember shopping for school supplies with my kids and that was a fun way to get excited about school, so now they [the children helped by Family Connection] get to bring their bookbags home and have everything they need.”

This year’s donation drive was one of the most successful they’ve ever done.

“It’s grown,” Stites explained. “A lot of local churches really help out.”

While Family Connection has done a school supply drive for over a decade, this is the third year in a row that they have held Stuff the Bus outside of the Kroger.

Family Connection is a statewide initiative aimed at helping children and families. There is a local organization in all 159 counties in the state, making it the largest such initiative in the nation.