WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WAWV/WTWO) – United Way has partnered with 7 local school corporations for yet another year of Stuff the Virtual Bus Program.

The collaborative donation drive has had a long history of providing equal learning opportunities for students in the Wabash Valley.

“We’ve been doing stuff on the bus for over 20 years,” Marketing and Communications Director Abby Desboro said. “Usually, it was a bus in front of an actual Walmart for an afternoon, but when covid-19 happened we kind of turned it virtual.”

The organization decided to keep it virtual this year for donation ease and convenience. Desboro said this program is important to the organization’s overall initiative.

“We are working to move 10,000 families out of financial struggles and instability, and one of those things is youth success,” Desboro said. “Making sure that kids show up to school prepared and are ready to learn makes a difference.”

South Vermillion School Corporation is one of the districts that have partnered with United Way for this year’s school supply donation drive. With a little over 1600 students in the corporation, Principal of Ernie Pyle Elementary School Kim Kesler estimates half of those students will benefit in some way from the program.

“As we all know the price of everything is going up and that added stress to families,” Kesler said. “Back-to-school shopping can become quite cumbersome when involves everything you have to buy the clothes, the shoes, the backpack the school supplies, the fees.”

Both Desboro and Kesler say the virtual donation will allow for many benefits.

“We have a better way to track and see what people bought and put on the bus,” Desboro said.

“We are pretty pumped about the virtual option this year,” Kesler said. “That also allows our donors to support us in ways that they haven’t been able to before.”

To donate you can visit their website.