Thousands of students start the school year without the supplies they need.

That’s why First Coast News is partnering with United Way of Northeast Florida for a "Stuff the Bus" Challenge.

Businesses (and everyone in our community!) are invited to collect much-needed school supplies for United Way’s Full Service Schools Center, which serves 87 schools in Duval County. The donations will benefit United Way Full Service Schools and Achievers For Life initiatives.

Prizes will be awarded to the businesses that fill the most boxes with school supplies between July 1 and Aug. 1. Businesses can sign up for the challenge online.

Then those businesses and generous individuals can bring the items to St. Johns Town Center on Friday, July 29th. We will be in the parking lot by the Target and Ross stores starting as early as 5:00AM until 7:00PM.

Our generous sponsor Adventure Landing will be giving away free rounds of mini golf those who donate.

Local attorneys Farah & Farah will join us at the Town Center and give away children's bike helmets to those who donate.

For more info about Farah & Farah's 'Keep Jax Safe' initiative, visit their website:

• Why should you donate? – In these tough economic times the need is greater than ever. Thousands of kids start the school year without the tools they need. Often teachers reach into their own pockets at an average of $400 per year. These supplies will be a valuable resource.

• What you should donate - Anything you would purchase for your own child. Pencils, rulers, pens, crayons, markers, highlighters, scissors, erasers, paper, notebooks, composition books, 3-ring binders, folders, compasses, backpacks, pencil boxes, plastic zip lock bags, hand sanitizer, tissues, glue sticks, index cards, calculators, hand sanitizer, paper towels……etc.