The first-ever Stuff the Bus for Teachers held last week was a big success, according to organizer Shelly Varner.

Boxes and boxes of notebooks, binders, markers, and other school supplies, as well as cleaning supplies, tissues and art supplies were donated by individuals and community organizations.

“The community response was nothing short of amazing for this first-time event,” Varner said. “It was great seeing everyone wanting to help out our teachers. There were people who came and asked for lists of things and specific items to purchase and donate. The amount of supplies that were donated by individuals and businesses was awesome!”

Varner said for the past several years she and her son, Cameron, have attended other community events where he received oodles and oodles of goodies that he could use for the school year, but often times he didn’t use everything. She said the only thing the school really required of the students was a backpack.

“After working with numerous teachers over the years, I’ve seen how much of their own money goes back into their classrooms, so I wanted to host something where I knew everyone would benefit, both teachers and students,” Varner explained. “I got in touch with Drew Alosi, a former school board member, and we worked together to make last week’s event happen. We were both truly touched by the amount of support we received and from folks wanting to help.” She said there were people who stopped by who had heard about the event, but weren’t exactly sure how they could help.

“Once I explained what we were doing, they went to Walmart and came back pushing a cart or carrying bags of supplies they had purchased to donate,” Varner said. “I just thought that was awesome!”

She said residents and staff from the Shippensburg Health Care Center stopped by to donate packs of tissues with notes attached telling the children and teachers to have a great school year. King’s Kettle Food Pantry donated two skids of supplies, and State Farm employees stopped by as well, in addition to so many others.

“The outpouring of support was just overwhelming, and I can’t thank folks enough for caring enough to help out our teachers and students,” Varner said.

Distribution of the supplies will take place later this week at the Southampton (Cumberland) Township multi-purpose center located in Cleversburg. Varner said she already has plans to hold the event again next year, and hopefully have an even more detailed list of items to share with the community. She also hopes to have more participation from community organizations and businesses.

Summer Gilbert and her sons, Liaem and Gage, pushed a cart across the parking lot Thursday to the waiting Boyo Transportation bus Thursday.

“We wanted to help Stuff the Bus because it’s important to give our teachers and students what they need in order for both to have a successful school year,” Summer said.

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