The United Way of Mid-Maine seeks donations for it’s annual Stuff the Bus school supply drive. Supplies can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, at a drive-thru collection event in the Waterville Walmart parking lot.

United Way volunteers will be ready to take donations directly from vehicles. In addition to its collection event, through the end of August, donations can be dropped off at the Skowhegan Regional Chamber of Commerce, 23 Commercial St., Skowhegan; GRUB, 144 College Ave., Waterville, and the Verizon Wireless stores at 175 Madison Ave., Skowhegan,  and 19 Moosehead Trail, Newport.

As the school year approaches, it brings with it great uncertainties. Not knowing whether students will be learning in the classroom, from their living room, or a combination of both, adds a level of stress to families who may already be struggling. Families are expected to spend nearly $800 on back to school supplies this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Remote learning, social distancing, and not being able to share supplies are some of the added struggles educators and students are facing this fall, according to a news release from the organization.

The annual school supply drive can help set students up for a successful school year and relieves some of the pressure on educators. Providing them with the tools they need makes a profound impact on students and their learning experience.

Suggested donations include backpacks, notebooks, folders, pencils, markers, hand sanitizer and more.

Those who are looking for a more socially distanced way to contribute can shop the Stuff the Bus Registry for Good by visiting https://tinyurl.com/y2mj57af and have a donation shipped directly to the organization. People also can make a monetary donation through its Facebook fundraiser or by texting STB to 207-424-2429.

United Way of Mid-Maine strives to advance the common good by collaborating to create solutions to local issues. Proudly serving the communities of Somerset, northern Kennebec, and western Waldo counties for more than 65 years, UWMM mobilizes the Mid-Maine community to improve outcomes in Health, Education, and Financial Stability.

For more information, visit uwmm.org and follow them on Facebook @UnitedWayMidMe.

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