united way of greater chattanooga

Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive

For the seventh year, United Way is conducting a school supply drive to benefit the Hamilton County PTA Teacher Supply Depot.

As many as 58.8% of Hamilton County public school students are classified as economically disadvantaged,* meaning these students probably lack the supplies they need to go back to school prepared for success. And most public school teachers spend almost $1,000 of their own money annually on school supplies and educational materials.**  

The 2016 goal is to again collect an ambitious $100,000+ in supplies. 

United Way and the Hamilton County PTA's Teacher Supply Depot are asking people to host school supply drives at their businesses, schools, and places of worship, or just donate school supplies at a participating drop-off event or location. Go online at UnitedWayCHA.org to download posters, supply lists, and other templates to help organize a drive. If you need assistance with your drive, email communityrelations@uwchatt.orgor call 423-752-0322.  

Supplies can be dropped off at the United Way offices or contact us to make arrangements for pickup, if it is a large donation. Funds can be donated to purchase supplies at the "Tools for Back to School" campaign at all area Publix Markets.  FYI, some of the most requested items are copy paper, pencils, glue sticks, construction paper, composition books, and spiral bound notebooks. 

Some upcoming Stuff the Bus special events are:

Sat., July 2: the final CFC home game of the season begins at 7:30 p.m. at Finley Stadium, where we will be collecting school supplies and hosting special half-time activities. 

Thurs., July 14: Back to School Night at the Lookouts, game at 7 p.m. Thanks to the Lookouts' generosity, you can get one free general admission ticket for every donation of school supplies you bring to the ballpark that night. 

July 28 to August 18: Tools for Back to School at Publix: Publix collects your dollars and sends United Way the school supplies – last year they collected more than $18,000 for the Teacher Supply Depot.

Sun., Aug. 14: Live United Day at the Chattanooga Market: Join United Way at the Market on Sun., Aug. 14, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and drop off your donated school supplies. Last year more than $80,000 in supplies were collected in one day.

Tues., Aug. 23: United Way Kickoff Celebration begins at 11:30 a.m. sharp - seating begins at 11 a.m. Drop off your supplies at the door. You must make reservations to attend. 

All school supply donations go to the Hamilton County Council of PTAs' Teacher Supply Depot, a 501c3. Any teacher who is a member of a Hamilton County public school PTA can shop at the Hamilton County PTAs Teacher Supply Depot to receive school supplies at no cost.

For more information on donating, please call 423-752-0322 or email communityrelations@uwchatt.org.

* Hamilton County Department of Education, 2013 Report Card—58.8% of students are classified as economically disadvantaged as defined by the following: “The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools, and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches each school day. Eligibility requirements are linked to federal poverty guidelines with those below 130% of the poverty status eligible for free lunch and those families at less than 185% eligible for reduced price lunch. Student eligibility for free or reduced lunch is a measure of family income below 185% the poverty threshold.” 58.8% based on the percent receiving Free Reduced lunch (TDOE 2013) District Level Profile Data Files URL http://www.tn.gov/education/data/download_data.shtml  accessed July 11, 2014.

** The 2013 NSSEA Retail Market Awareness Study

Look at the download column to your right. Here you can download posters, flyers, guides, and other materials. Check back often to find new materials as the list is updated frequently. 

Here are the top 50 school supplies the Hamilton County public school teachers surveyed say they need.

1. Wood pencils (no plastic coating)

2. White copy paper

3. Crayola markers

4. Crayola crayons

5. Dry erase markers

6. Hand sanitizer

7. Kleenex

8. Index cards

9. Paper towels

10. Post-it notes

11. Freezer bags (gallon, quart, and sandwich size)

12. Colored pencils

13. Sharpie markers (thin and thick tip)

14. Teacher pens (black, red and other colors)

15. Scotch tape

16. Staples                                                                                                                                                          

17. Glue sticks

18. Scissors

19. Clorox/Lysol wipes

20. Construction paper

21. Colored copy paper

22. Pocket folders (with prongs, various colors)

23. Electric pencil sharpeners

24. Paper clips (large and small)

25. Glue

26. Notebook paper

27. Staplers

28. Highlighters

29. Manila file folders

30. White card stock

31. Rubber bands (big and small)

32. Band-aids

33. Composition books

34. Spiral notebooks

35. Push pins

36. Air freshener/Febreeze spray

37. Cap erasers

38. Rulers

39. Poster board

40. Dry erase board cleaner

41. Masking tape

42. Colored card stock

43. Clear packing tape

44. Page protectors

45. 3 ring binders

46. File folder labels

47. Insertable dividers for binders

48. Binder clips

49. Printer ink cartridges

50. Single subject spiral notebooks