Living UNITED… in Dixie – Stuff the Bus!
By Rebekah Pectol
Have you seen the big yellow school bus stuffed to the top with school supplies driving around town? If not, you will get your chance as the 2nd Annual Stuff the Bus event makes its way back to town!
Allconnect, a local business since 2005 and top employer of over 200 employees here in the St. George area, continues to go the extra mile to “Live United” in our community. This is achieved through their annual school supply drive to help local students within the Washington County School District have the needed school supplies to start the school year out with success.
“Honestly, it started several years ago in attempt to help one of our own employees who was struggling,” Janiece Bracken from Allconnect states, referring to their nine-years-and-counting school supply drive. “After that we just kept going and each year it has gotten larger and larger.”
With the annual success of the drive, Allconnect wanted to take it to the next level, so they partnered with United Way Dixie in 2015 to bring the “Stuff the Bus” event to our community. This nationally known United Way event offers and encourages other businesses and community members to run internal school supply drives in attempt to reach a goal of stuffing a full-sized school bus with school supplies. “It is very meaningful to all of us here at Allconnect to support our local educational system and children in need,” Bracken explains, “And we wanted to share this feeling by opening up our school supply drive to others in our community, to not only have a larger impact, but to share in the success!”
Joining forces with local organization Backpack 4 Kids, the donated school supplies gathered through the Stuff the Bus event are then put into age appropriate backpacks and distributed through the Washington County School District to children in need. “This event is so valuable to our school district, as there are an estimated 991 children who are considered homeless within our schools,” says Mike Carr, referring to Washington County School District’s 2015-2016 annual MicKinney-Vento report. “The Stuff the Bus event is successful because it teams up with other appropriate local organizations here so that the donated school supplies are distributed to the right places, ensuring that they go directly to these students in need,” says Carr.
Although the 2015 event was a huge success stuffing an entire bus, a goal has now been set to fill two full size buses during the 2016 event, which has been scheduled for July 29th. Set by the influence of Allconnect, other local businesses such as Biolife, Target, Canyon Media, and SkyWest Airlines has joined in the fun, as they run internal school supply drives and deliver them to the event.
We invite you to get on board the big yellow school bus as well. Join Allconnect, run a school supply drive and help us to “stuff that bus” as we work together to help support our local students have the supplies they need for a successful future! With the example set by businesses such as Allconnect, we witness what it truly means to “Live United” right here in Dixie.
For more information about how you can be involved with the “Stuff the Bus” event please visit www.unitedwaydixie.org.
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