Community rallies for back-to-school Stuff the Bus event

·2 min read

Jul. 23—KENNESAW — In a day of giving back, MUST Ministries hosted the community at a local Dick's Sporting Goods on Saturday.

The rain didn't dampen any generosity as many traveled to the parking lot of the sporting goods giant on Barrett Parkway to "Stuff the Bus" by donating school supplies for students whose families may not be able to afford them.

Stuff the Bus relies on members of the community to bring various school supplies, backpacks, shoes, and clothing, such as socks, underwear and shirts. Those items are then sorted, or "stuffed" into a bus which will be driven to different MUST Ministries centers in Marietta, Smyrna and Canton. There, the supplies are handed out to attending children. In addition to the on-site donations, MUST Ministries also set up an Amazon wish list for people to donate online.

Saturday saw numerous families and individuals bringing various school supplies. In addition, Dick's Sporting Goods, a partner of MUST Ministries for the event, donated over 20 backpacks and several pairs of socks, according to Falecia Stewart, vice president of housing for MUST. The retailer also handed out coupons to those who came to drop off donations.

"We don't turn away any families" said Stewart. "We have over 70 kids that we're trying to provide back-to-school items for."

According to Kaye Cagle, vice president of marketing and public relations, MUST is a volunteer organization dedicated to helping homeless and struggling individuals and families with food, clothing, housing, employment, and other assistance.

In addition to the services offered at its homeless shelter in Marietta and service locations, MUST also serves families through its client service program. This last fiscal year, MUST served more than 55,000 people in eight Georgia counties, Cagle said.

"We're just trying to get enough school supplies and other essential items as needed to prepare these kids for the school year," Stewart added.

Following the Stuff the Bus event, all of the donated items will be taken to the service locations in Canton, Smyrna and Marietta. The Amazon Wishlist allows people to donate online, with three separate lists for elementary, middle, and high school. To donate or for more information, go to