The largest school supply drive in Marion County celebrates its 14-year anniversary by giving to students in need this summer.
“Operation: Stuff the Bus” started in 2002 as a summer drive to gather school supplies for Marion County’s homeless students. Today, the program helps approximately 2,500 needy students throughout Marion County Public Schools.
The annual program is co-sponsored by Marion County Public Schools and local military organizations.
“Operation: Stuff the Bus” affords local residents the opportunity to make a real difference in a homeless child’s life by donating new school supplies, children’s clothing, shoes, books, personal hygiene items, gifts cards and financial contributions. To date, the campaign has collected approximately $450,000 in donations and merchandise – all distributed through the school district’s Homeless Student program and guidance counselors.
A decorated school bus with ample room to “stuff” donations inside appears at local retail stores from 9am-5pm based on the following schedule:
July 18, Saturday – Walmart Silver Springs, 4980 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala
July 25, Saturday – Walmart Silver Springs Shores, 34 Bahia Ave., Ocala
July 25, Saturday - Zumba event at Howard Middle School, 1655 NW 10 St., Ocala, 10:30AM-Noon, $15 per person including T-shirt if pre-register
August 1, Saturday – Walmart, 9570 SW State Rd 200, Ocala
August 4, Tuesday – “Super Tuesday” with pick-ups at local government agencies, financial institutions and real estate agents
August 8, Saturday - Walmart Easy Street, 2600 SW 19 Ave., Ocala
Checks benefitting “Operation: Stuff the Bus” should be indicated as such and made payable to Operation: Stuff the Bus, c/o Homeless Children Program, Marion County Public Schools, 1517 SE 30 Ave. #5, Ocala, FL, 34471.