United Way Ready to Stuff the Bus

For a decade and a half members of the Mahaska community have assisted those in need to obtain school supplies. For past 11 years United Way of Mahaska County has led the effort. The event allows students at Mahaska County schools, Peoria Christian, North Mahaska, Eddyville Blakesburg Fremont, Oskaloosa Christian and Oskaloosa Public to receive a backpack and school supplies.

Tim Gibson, community impact coordinator from United Way is leading the effort this year. In 2017 more than 300 backpacks were distributed. As of July 17 more than 250 applications had been received. He is expecting the number to go closer to 500.

“We have a partnership with a number of organizations and churches,” said Gibson. “The registration and collection of supplies is going really, really well. We have 25 boxes out many of them at the churches.”

Oskaloosa churches started the drive several years ago, but it grew too large and United Way joined the project. They have transitioned into the leading agency. Salvation Army provides all of the backpacks as part of the partnership.

In the past backpacks were provided based on need, but Gibson said that requirement has gone away, although that is who he hopes will take advantage.

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