Like so many areas of life this year, COVID-19 impacted United Way of Bedford County’s “Stuff the Bus” program. Even so, 56 boxes, filled with a record of approximately 13,000 items, were delivered Tuesday to all county schools by employees of the Bedford County School System...
Like so many areas of life this year, COVID-19 impacted United Way of Bedford County’s “Stuff the Bus” program. Even so, 56 boxes, filled with a record of approximately 13,000 items, were delivered Tuesday to all county schools by employees of the Bedford County School System.
“The campaign was a major success in a year where success has been hard to find,” said Mark McGee, executive director of United Way of Bedford County. “Our board thanks everyone who was involved with the efforts as we set a record for the third year in a row.”
The United Way of Bedford County “Stuff the Bus” campaign is typically held in late July. A school bus is set up at Walmart. Also, several banks and businesses collect supplies.
Again, the coronavirus affected the July event. But with a pure love and determination to help students in need, the annual event was seen to fruition.
Working hard to help “Stuff the Bus,” were employees of Heritage South, Peoples Bank of Middle Tennessee, Traders Bank, Regions Bank, First Community Bank and Tennova Healthcare-all collecting supplies. Jostens provided the delivery boxes.
The biggest contributor/supplier, as in the past three years, was Newell Brands, which donated thousands of school items.
Shelbyville Optimist Club presented United Way of Bedford County with a check for $2,000 to help purchase supplies.
“Despite our later delivery, our board knows the supplies will be used,” McGee said. “Bedford County has a number of students dealing with financial constraints.”
ALICE, an acronym for “Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed,” is a study funded by United Way, including the Bedford County chapter, which includes household figures through 2017. The ALICE Threshold counts households that earn more than the Federal Poverty Level, but less than the basic cost of living in Bedford County.
In 2017, 28 percent of households in Bedford County were at the ALICE level. An additional 16 percent were at the federal poverty level. A staggering 44 percent of households in Bedford County are not able to cover the basic costs of living.
A breakdown of household types shows that 28 percent of families with children are at the ALICE level and 24 percent are at the poverty level. Only 48 percent of households with children produced enough income in 2017 to meet or exceed the basic cost of living in Bedford County.
“The school supplies drive is just one way United Way of Bedford County works to better the quality of life in the county,” McGee said. “We provide funds for 18 non-profits who have an impact on the county. Like all non-profits we are dealing with the challenges of 2020. We appreciate the board of directors, our volunteers, support of businesses and individuals through donations and sponsorships and employee campaign drives.”
To donate, go to www.unitedwaybedford.org.
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