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Stuff the Bus not just for school
new slt stuff bus walmart alternate
Students from Barton Community College volunteer to Stuff the Bus, Wednesday in the Walmart Supercenter parking lot. Items collected and placed on the bus will go to member agencies of United Way of Central Kansas. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

United Way wish list
Blankets, Stuffed Animals
Office supplies: copy paper, pens, tape, folders and binders, envelopes, notebooks, highlighters, white-out, legal pads, staples and paper clips, Label tape machine labels
Household items: paper towels, toilet paper, trash bags, facial tissue, etc. laundry soap, cleaning supplies, sponges, comet, etc.
Art/craft supplies: crayons, markers, construction paper, glue, child and adult scissors, glitter, acrylic paint, watercolors, poster board, stickers, Disposable dining ware: cups, paper or Styrofoam plates, paper napkins
Toys: infant/toddler toys, preschool and school-age toys/games
Baby supplies: diapers, wipes
Travel size toiletries: soap, deodorant, cotton swabs, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, etc.
New hygiene items: brushes, combs, toothbrushes
Non-perishable snacks: drink boxes/juice packs, cracker packs, goldfish, fruit snacks
Regular ground coffee
 Roller pads (for paint rollers), painters tape, brooms, dustpans, gardening gloves, canvas drop cloths., new home building supplies
Non perishable food and  boys teen clothing
Skeins of yarn, regular and baby yarn-all colors

The bright yellow school buses in front of Great Bend’s Walmart and 10th Street Dillons store Wednesday weren’t carrying children. Rather, they were part of the United Way of Central Kansas Stuff the Bus project. Shoppers were invited to drop off items from the “wish lists” of the 19 United Way agencies in Barton and Pawnee counties.
Larned’s Stuff the Bus drive will take place in from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, at Dillons, 423 Main St., and Shopko, 908 E. 14th. This is a change from the Wednesday date originally announced, said Julie Bunger Smith, executive director of United Way of Central Kansas.
Stuff the Bus items can also be dropped off at the Ellinwood Sunflower Bank location and the Ellinwood School-Community Library through September. The Library is a partner with United Way and Dolly Parton’s Imagination  Library.
This is the fourth year for Stuff the Bus, but the first year for Dillons to sponsor buses. Ricki Mullet, assistant manager of the Larned Dillons, said employees at both stores volunteered to take the donations and fill the bus. Great Bend USD 428 provided buses Wednesday, and Fort Larned USD 495 will provide buses next week in Larned.
“Last year we helped with the Color Run,” Mullet said. “They aren’t doing that this year, so we decided to Stuff the Bus.”
Walmart and Dillons are both strong supporters of United Way, Smith said. Both offer automatic payroll deduction to employees wishing to make regular donations to UWCK.
Wednesday’s volunteers also included staff and students from Barton Community College, as well as the Great Bend High School football team and volleyball girls, Smith said.
UWCK board member Dianne Call said even though a lot of people are thinking “best to school,” Stuff the Bus isn’t just for school supplies. The items will be taken to distribution site where representatives of various agencies will be able to pick up things they need. These might include school supplies for agencies that help children. The Salvation Army, for example, will fill some 500 backpacks. Other items might be stuffed animals, used by the Family Crisis Center; or household items for the non-food pantry at Catholic Social Service. Almost all of the agencies can use legal pads and other office supplies, as well as cleaning supplies, she said.