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First Coast News hosting annual Stuff the Bus event today, here's how to donate

The money you donate will purchase school supplies that will be a critical resource for both students and teachers.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It's that time of year again! We're talking about 'Stuff the Bus Day' at The Markets at Town Center! 

First Coast News and United Way of Northeast Florida are partnering to raise funds to purchase school supplies for Full Service Schools. Eight Full Service Schools Family Resource Centers located throughout Jacksonville support 87 schools and 57,000 students.

The event will be held July 16. 

Why should you donate? More than a third of Northeast Florida residents live in poverty or at the brink of poverty. Our goal is to collect monetary donations so United Way of NE FL can purchase essential school supplies so students in need can achieve greater academic success and their families can be more financially stable. 

The money you donate will purchase school supplies that will be a critical resource for both students and teachers.

How to donate:

To donate now: unitedwaynefl.org/stuffthebus or text CLASSROOMS to 30306

Companies, churches and other groups are invited to register as a team to support Stuff the Bus. This year, we have two options. 

Option 1: Host a virtual fundraiser by encouraging your group to give monetary donations. Instructions will be provided upon sign-up. For group sign-up click here.

Option 2: The traditional drive option is back! Please register your group here to collect physical school supplies, and we will send helpful information, tips and promotional graphics to use for a successful drive and team-building experience.

Come to the event:

If you are donating physical items, you can find a list of most-needed supplies for the classroom or for students below. Then, July 16, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., you are invited to drop off your collected new school supplies at the bus located at The Markets at Town Center near Sprouts and Chipotle. 

This will be a touch-free drive-thru drop-off. Pack your donations in your trunk, pop your trunk upon arrival, and we'll do the rest!

Click here for an updated list of suggested donation items and Amazon lists.

Supplies can also be donated at the following Chick-fil-A locations:

  • River City Marketplace - 14020 Lunar Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32218
  • Southside Blvd at the Avenues  - 9980 Southside Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32256
  • Atlantic & Hodges  - 13375 Atlantic Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32225
  • Mandarin - 3280 Oak Bluff Ln, Jacksonville, FL 32257
  • Regency Park - 9398 Atlantic Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32225
  • Wells Road - 1925 Wells Rd, Orange Park, FL 32073
  • Marsh Landing Pkwy - 590 Marsh Landing Pkwy, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
  • Eagle Harbor - 1541 County Road 220, Fleming Island, FL 32203
  • Oakleaf Town Center - 9630 Applecross Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32222
  • Ortega Park - 4495 Roosevelt Blvd Ste 601, Jacksonville, FL 32210 - 
  • Beach & Hodges - 13672 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32224
  • Southside Blvd at Tinseltown - 4461 Southside Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32216
  • Butler Pointe Plaza - 7147 Philips Hwy, Jacksonville, FL 32256
  • St. Johns Town Center - 4625 Town Center Pkwy, Jacksonville, FL 32246
  • Lakewood - 3814 University Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32216

Text to donate: 

You can also Text CLASSROOMS to 30306 and choose the amount you would like to give. Businesses can also use this text to give to start their own fundraisers.

What does your money do?:

With just a $5 donation, you can provide a backpack or personal care kit for a student lacking hygiene items. 

A $25 donation will provide a backpack fully loaded with every basic item a student in grade K-5 will need for half the school year.

A $50 donation will provide mesh or clear backpack fully loaded with every basic item a middle school student will need for half the school year, including a scientific calculator.

A $100 donation can buy a complete classroom pack for one classroom including everything from disinfectant wipes to dry erase markers and copy paper.

Donation notes:

  • Make sure to pack crayons separately so that we can keep them in a cool place! 
  • If you are collecting as part of a team drive, please keep track of the number of items 
  • Take collected items our drive-thru drop-off at the Markets at Town Center, near Sprouts, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on July 16, and be sure to give the name of your team and the number of items collected to our volunteers or staff

Click here for an updated list of suggested donation items and Amazon lists.

For companies to sign up: unitedwaynefl.org/stuffthebusjax