Salvation Army collecting back-to-school supplies for children

Due to a national directive, The Salvation Army's collection bins will be unmanned this year. Courtesy The Salvation Army of Kent County

The Salvation Army of Kent County is encouraging residents to donate school supplies during a three-day “Stuff the Bus” event.

The nonprofit said Monday that it is partnering with four area Walmart stores to collect school supplies for its annual Stuff the Bus event from Friday to Sunday.

The community can contribute by purchasing and dropping off items at the designated bins near the front of each store or by searching on The Salvation Army’s Registry for Good and donating supplies online. The participating Walmart locations are at 3999 Alpine Ave. NW in Comstock Park, 5859 28th St. SE in Cascade Township, 4542 Kenowa Ave. SW in Grandville and 355 54th St. SW in Wyoming.

The Salvation Army of Kent County is seeking enough donations to fill over 300 backpacks, which will then be distributed by the Grand Rapids Kroc Center and the Fulton Heights Community Center. All types of school supplies are needed, e.g., pens, pencils, notebooks, binders, folders, scissors, crayons, markers, calculators and USB flash drives.

“Equipping kids to go back to school can place a tremendous burden on families, especially this year, as many continue to deal with the impacts of the pandemic,” said Major Glen Caddy, divisional commander of the Salvation Army of Kent County. “We are grateful for our partnership with Walmart, which helps us come alongside our neighbors in need. Kent County is a generous community, and we are thankful for their support as we ‘Stuff the Bus’ to make sure our kids have the tools necessary for a successful school year.”

Walmart and The Salvation Army have partnered for more than 30 years on a range of social services. The Stuff the Bus school supply drive will take place at more than 4,500 Walmart stores across the country this weekend.

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