Pack the bus for Bossier Parish students today

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Bossier Chamber of Commerce is holding its second Pack the Bus event to collect school supplies for Bossier Parish Schools. 

Partnering with the Bossier Parish School System and Advocate Advertising Group, the event will be held today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Chamber parking lot, 710 Benton Road in Bossier City.

The Chamber is encouraging business members to collect school supplies at their establishments and bring them to help pack one of the Bossier Schools’ buses.

“We know that now, more than ever, many within our community are facing hard times from the COVID-19 pandemic. What better way to come together as a community than to do everything we possibly can, including small things like gathering school supplies, to help our children succeed as they go back to school for the 2020-21 school year,” said Bossier Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Lisa Johnson. 

Items needed for the school year include:

  • Spiral notebooks
  • Composition notebooks
  • Graph paper
  • Manilla folders
  • Kleenex/paper towels
  • Glue sticks/bottled glue
  • No. 2 pencils
  • Blue/black ink pens
  • Red ink pens
  • Colored pencils
  • Washable markers
  • Crayons
  • Plastic pencil box or pouch
  • Cap erasers
  • Pink erasers
  • Kids safety scissors
  • Index cards (3×5 and 4×6)
  • Backpacks

The Bossier Chamber of Commerce Pack the Bus event is especially important for students this year because the annual United Way “Fill the Bus” event will not traditionally be taking place on Walmart’s property like it typically does around this time every year.

Instead, the United Way “Fill the Bus” event will take place online.

Recently, Walmart has announced that all of its’ “Fill the Bus” opportunities will be moved online due to Covid-19 safety concerns. United Ways with Walmart in their service area must now conduct “Fill The Bus” programs via Walmart’s “Registry for Good” web site.

“We have designed and launched a dedicated webpage, www.unitedwaynwla.org/fillthebus. The webpage is live now, and will remain open through August 31. This page has two components: First, for companies that would like to host a school supply drive at their work site/work place.  Participating companies can designate to a specific school system of their choosing.  We are asking these companies to pre-register with us to help organize the drives,” said Harper McKnight, United Way of Northwest Louisiana Community Engagement and Creative Coordinator.

“Second, for individuals, companies and/or organizations to purchase the supplies online.  This option allows for the donor(s) to designate supplies to specific parishes that have agreed to be part of the online supply drive.  This list will change as schools systems come aboard,” she added. 

United Way’s school supply drives help approximately 5,000 students across our service area.  Under their entire School Supply Drive Initiatives, they partner with Caddo Transformation Zones Schools, Bossier Parish Schools, Sabine Parish Schools, and Red River Back to School Bash. 

“It is important that children who are in need of school supplies can get them. Access to the supplies most necessary for learning is essential for students learning from home, in the classroom, or a combination of both. The children of families we primarily serve will most likely depend on the schools opening in order to continue to work amidst the pandemic. And due to COVID-19, there has been a significant drop in school supply drives, making our drive critical now more than ever,” said McKnight.