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The start of the new school year is only a few weeks away. Parents all over the state are Yellow-Buslikely going through a number of emotions: excitement, sadness, anxiousness, and too often – dread.

Did you know that the average cost to send one student back to school is over $600? As childhood poverty increases, it becomes more difficult for families to obtain the resources they need to send their children back to school.

The need is real and greater than you might imagine. According to 2013-2014 data, 43.3 percent of Wisconsin public school students were eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches. In some areas, that statistic can be as high at 91.2 percent.

To combat the continuously rising costs of school supplies, Lions and Lioness Clubs in Wisconsin are partnering with local schools to stuff the bus.

Stuff the Bus is similar to a food drive, but rather than gathering canned goods, local Lions collect new school supplies that are then sorted and donated to an area school. Supplies include backpacks, binders, hand sanitizer, flash drives, scissors and erasers. See the entire supply list handout here. The official statewide collection date is this Saturday, August 11; however, many clubs are participating all month long. Contact your area club for details on a collection site near you.

Lions Pride is proud to support the Wisconsin Lion and Lioness Clubs hosting Stuff the Bus drives in 2018. Whether you donate a single ruler or a case of paper, your donation will make a difference in the life of a child and his or her family. Together, we can help take the strain out of back to school shopping for families all around the state.