Volunteers and members of United Way of Bucks County are sorting through everything the community has donated to Stuff the Bus at Westaby Hall this morning.

Chase, Judy, and their family sort pencils at Westaby Hall Thursday morning. Photo by Rick Rickman.

Today’s sorting and inventory event has 50 volunteers scheduled to stop by and help. Many volunteers are older teenagers and adults, but some are a bit younger and are there helping with family.

First time volunteer Judy and her young grandson Chase are at the pencil sorting station rubber banding 10 pencils together before placing them in a box to put in back packs later.

“I like counting the pencils and then putting a rubber band around them, it’s fun,” Chase said. “There’s a lot of people who need stuff for school. I feel like it’s helpful to them.”

Judy added she thinks her grandson volunteering to help disadvantaged children helps build character.

“A lot of kids don’t have that opportunity,” Judy said. “I think it’s important for the kids to realize they’re very fortunate.”

Volunteers comb through stacks of boxes filled with brand new school supplies for disadvantaged children. Photo by Rick Rickman.

Last year, Stuff the Bus received enough in donations of supplies and funding to fill backpacks for more than 2,600 children. This year, the campaign aimed to fill more than 3,000 backpacks.

The organization far exceeded its goal and believes there is enough supplies to meet the needs of between 3,200 and 3,500 students for the school year.

According to Director of Community and Volunteer Engagement Danielle Bush, monetary donations played a huge role in meeting demand. With each backpack valued at roughly $35, some contributors donated enough to meet the needs of entire classrooms.

Wells Fargo is the premier sponsor of the campaign this year, and five representatives from the bank are helping sort supplies, rotating with five new people every hour and a half.

More than 300 volunteers total have offered their support to Stuff the Bus. Next Thursday is the highly anticipated Backpack-a-Thon.