“Stuff the Bus” Campaign A Big Success

United Way of Greater Union County and Corporate Partners Engage Employees to Collect and Donate Backpacks and School Supplies to Nearly 800 Students for the Start of 2014 School Year 
James W. Horne, Jr., President/CEO, United Way of Greater Union County predicted - “This year’s goal is to fill 600 backpacks, so that children will have the necessary tools to start school ready to learn.”  That goal was blown-away when corporations, small businesses and individuals, donated 789 back packs, 7,424 school supplies, and hundreds of over-the-shoulder bags to children in pre-kindergarten to 12th grade.
A fundamental pillar of UWGUC is strengthening families and the “Stuff the Bus” campaign resulted in over 200 backpacks being assembled in its inaugural year.  Now more children and families were served and it lessened the stress parents are faced with at the start of a new school year.  In addition, when children receive the tools they need, they feel prepared and are empowered to learn at the start of the school year, a critical time to establish learning objectives.
In addition to the employee donation campaigns held at corporations and small businesses, this year the general public was invited to participate.  As sited in a Star Ledger feature on Sunday, July 20, 2014, drop-off sites included Cranford Public Library, Cranford Community Center and United Way of Greater Union County, Elizabeth office. 
Last year we had 14 participating organizations. However, this year we had a 64% increase in participating organization with 23 companies donating 400 more back packs this year. 
This year’s campaign benefitted the following non-profit organizations in their ongoing efforts to service the needs of Union County families: Bayway Family Success Center, Communities in Cooperation, City of Elizabeth, Elizabeth to House the Homeless, Jefferson Park Family Success Center, JFK Community Center, Kings Daughter Day Care, Morning Star Church, Plainfield Board of Education-Family Success Center, Proceed, Roselle Collaborative and The Connection for Women and Families.
This year’s campaign contributors were: Cabru Transport, Cintas, Comcast, Cranford Public Library, C.R. Bard, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Fed-Ex Ground New York/Metro District, GENEWIZ, Hub International, Insurance Auto Auction, Inc., Linde North America, Macy’s in South Plainfield, Neiman Marcus in Mountainside, Office of Assemblyman Jon M. Bramnick, NuStar Energy, PNC Bank, Plymouth Rock Assurance, Provident Bank, Roselle Savings Bank, Santander Bank, Suburban Chamber of Commerce, Tumi Holding, Inc., and Villani Bus Company.
In addition, we received a $1,000 donation from Comcast and a $500 donation from Provident Bank.
We thank all of our supporters and donors for being part of the change in building stronger families and stronger communities