ROCKINGHAM — Cartons of notebooks, pencil boxes and yellow No. 2 pencils stuffed a school bus in front of Walmart on Friday, thanks to donors from area businesses and individuals dropping a dollar or two each into a blue beach bucket.
In its ninth iteration, Richmond County Schools’ “Stuff the Bus” campaign will provide children in need with the supplies they must have for school. It also might save classroom teachers a few bucks on hand sanitizer and tissues — items that have a very short classroom shelf life.
“It’s important to be able to help people who need help,” said Emma Russell, a rising 11th-grader and Beta Club member at Richmond Senior High School who volunteered to collect money and buy supplies for the bus Friday.
Russell’s sister Abby, a rising eighth-grader, also worked Friday, flashing her teeth in a bright smile designed to spark donations.
Abby Russell and her companion fundraiser, Chloe Monroe, also a Rockingham Middle School eighth-grader, held on to a bucketful of dollar bills throughout most of the afternoon. Most donations amounted to a dollar or six, but one man — they said with awed tones — had dropped $40 into the bucket earlier in the day.
Michelle Parrish, executive director of the United Way of Richmond County, said the drive seemed a bit more successful than others she could remember, although she had no exact figures — just impressions. The United Way and Rockingham Walmart partnered with the school system to “Stuff the Bus.”
The bus also was scheduled to make an appearance at the Richmond Senior High Raiders’ home football game Friday night.
Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673.