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Harford County Education Foundation’s Stuff the Bus Campaign is under way

Bel Air Orthodontics staff is ready for the annual Harford County Education Foundation’s Stuff the Bus campaign. Pictured are, front row from left, Katie Mongan and Natalie Walters; middle row from left, Dr. Stephen Godwin, Melissa Graham and Colleen Mitrega; and back row from left, Brandi DeMarr, Helen Godwin and Sara Bender.
Bel Air Orthodontics staff is ready for the annual Harford County Education Foundation’s Stuff the Bus campaign. Pictured are, front row from left, Katie Mongan and Natalie Walters; middle row from left, Dr. Stephen Godwin, Melissa Graham and Colleen Mitrega; and back row from left, Brandi DeMarr, Helen Godwin and Sara Bender. (Courtesy Deb Merlock / Baltimore Sun)

For the past 13 years, local businesses, educational institutions and civic organizations have partnered with Harford County Education Foundation to collect much-needed supplies through its Stuff the Bus Campaign. Donated school supplies are picked up from businesses, then sorted, counted, packed and delivered to Harford County Public Schools for students in need before the first day of school.

“All of us at Bel Air Orthodontics cherish the opportunity to partner with our patients and their families in support of the Harford County Education Foundation’s Stuff the Bus campaign,” Dr. Stephen Godwin, of Bel Air Orthodontics, said. “ It is our wish that every child in Harford County is equipped to succeed in their academic endeavors.”

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Last year, the Education Foundation was able to serve nearly 2,400 students with school supplies. This years goal is to serve 3,500 children in need of these critical resources.

“Helping a child start off on the right foot on day one builds their self-esteem and assists in their learning process,” Education Foundation Board Chair Warren Hamilton said.

School supplies also stock the Education Foundation’s Tools for Schools Resource Center in Bel Air, where teachers from Harford County Public Schools shop, for free, for school supplies for their economically challenged students throughout the school year.

“Who knows better than teachers what supplies their students require to succeed?” said Deb Merlock, President of Harford County Education Foundation. “The Education Foundation is the year-round resource in providing school supplies to students in need. The number of students that live in poverty and are even homeless in the district is staggering and it is vitally important to equip these students with the resources they need to fully participate in learning starting on the first day of school. We believe every child deserves an equitable opportunity to grow, develop, and learn and having the tools for learning is critical to achieving educational success.”

Items needed for the Stuff the Bus campaign include: pencils (regular and colored), pens, markers (washable and dry erase), crayons, highlighters, blunt edge scissors, protractors, compasses, erasers, glue sticks and white glue bottles, loose leaf paper, index cards, composition notebooks, two-pocket folders, 1 ½ inch and 3 inch binders, binder dividers, zippered pencil pouches (including binder pencil pouches), plastic pencil cases, backpacks, USB drives, graphing calculators, plastic zip storage bags (quart and gallon size), tissues and hand sanitizer.

By donating to a centralized resource center, Harford County Education Foundation is able to maximize the number of students served by allocating resources based on need. It is by this method that the Resource Center can ensure each child is provided the right school supplies, and that no child in need is turned away due to a shortage of resources.

Items needed for the Stuff the Bus campaign includes: pencils (regular and colored), pens, markers (washable and dry erase); crayons, highlighters; blunt edge scissors, protractors, compasses, erasers; glue sticks and white glue bottles; loose leaf paper, Index cards, composition notebooks; two-pocket folders, 1 1/2-inch and 3-inch binders, binder dividers; zippered pencil pouches (including binder pencil pouches), plastic pencil cases; backpacks; USB drives, graphing calculators; plastic zip storage bags (quart and gallon size); tissues, hand sanitizer.

Collection sites for Stuff the Bus donations include the following Harford County businesses through Sept. 13: A Bright Idea, APG Federal Credit Union, Artistry in Plastic Surgery, Aruba Sun & Spa; Beacon Staffing; BB&T Bank Bel Air; Bel Air Athletic Club; Bel Air Orthodontics; Booz Allen Hamilton; Celebree - Laurel Bush; ChoiceOne Urgent Care - Forest Hill, Fallston and Aberdeen; Coffee Coffee; Drayer Physical Therapy in Aberdeen, Bel Air and Edgewood; Edward Jones; Express Care; First National Bank; Freedom Federal Credit Union; The Goddard School; Gold Medal Physical Therapy; Hamilton Service Center; Har-Co Credit Union; Harford Bank - Bel Air and Abingdon; Harford Chamber of Commerce; Harford Gymnastics; Harford Memorial Hospital cafeteria; Harford Mutual Insurance Company; Howard Bank; I Love Kickboxing; Jones Junction; Julie Ellyn Designs; Keller Williams American Premier Realty; Kelly’s Hair Design; Kinetic Youth Academy; Klein’s ShopRite Bel Air; Morris & Ritchie Associates/Geo-Technology Associates; MusicLand; New Destiny Evangelistic Church; OrangeTheory Fitness; Paramount Die Company; Planet Fitness - Abingdon and Bel Air; PNC Bank - Bel Air; Point Breeze Credit Union; Raytheon; Smiths Detection; The Arena Club; The Yards at Fieldside Village; TIC Gums; Towson University North East campus; Upper Chesapeake Medical Center cafeteria; Walmart Fallston; Wave Armstrong Ceilings; Wesleyan Chapel United Methodist Church; Weyrich, Cronin & Sorra; and YMCA Ward Family Center Abingdon.

Harford County Government Offices collecting items include the administration building, Harford County Council, Department of Community Services, Department of Emergency Services, Office of Community & Economic Development, Parks and Recreation, Harford County Public Library branches, Harford County Public Schools on Hickory Avenue.

Harford County Senior Activity Centers include Edgewood Activity Center; Veronica “Roni” Chenowith Activity Center in Fallston; Havre de Grace Activity Center; McFaul Activity Center in Bel Air; Eden Mill Nature Center in Pylesville; Anita C. Leight Estuary Center in Abingdon; Edgewood Recreation & Community Center; Mariner Point Park in Joppatowne; Forest Hill/Hickory Activity Center; Churchville Recreation Center, Glenville and Level buildings; and Norrisville Library and Activity Center.

School supply donations can also be made directly to Harford County Education Foundation by emailing connect@harfordeducation.org. Monetary donations are accepted at www.harfordeducation.org/donations.

Harford County Education Foundation donated more than $35,000 in school supplies to Harford County classrooms this past school year, and since its formation in 2004, has also awarded more than $168,000 in college scholarships to deserving students. In addition to scholarships and supplies, the Education Foundation offers other valuable resources for the county’s 37,000 students such as the LEAD for Tomorrow high school leadership program; Books in Hand Summer Learning Program; TECH Tools, classroom innovation grants and educator recognition.

For more information about Harford County Education Foundation, visit www.harfordeducation.org.

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