With a super hero theme, the United Way of Central Kansas went up, up and away with its 2016 kick-off event Saturday evening. The campaign is now officially underway.
UWCK supports 19 non-profit agencies at a time when there is a lot of uncertainty about federal and state funding. When relying largely on government programs and grants, this uncertainty creates a great deal of stress for organizations that serve a needy and fragile populations.
That is why what the United Way does is increasingly important. The money fills in the cracks and helps prop up these groups up and keep them able to fulfill their missions.
However, there is more to the equation than cash. Sometimes, supplies and services are just as important.
That is why for the past few years the UWCK drive has included the Stuff the Bus effort.
This year, it will take place at Wal-Mart, 3503 10th St., and at Dillons, 4107 10th St., from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday in Great Bend. The United Way, partnering with USD 428, wants the community to provide the much needed supplies. The Ellinwood step will be at the Ellinwood Community Library, but donations will also be taken at Sunflower Bank as well. Larned’s Stuff the Bus will be later this month.
“The premise of Stuff the Bus is to load a school bus with items our 19 member agencies need to serve the community,” said UWCK Executive Director Julie Bugner Smith. “The agencies that UWCK serves rely on these contributions to stretch their already tight budgets.”
Here is what they are looking for:
1. Blankets, Stuffed Animals
2. Office supplies: copy paper, pens, tape, folders and binders, envelopes, notebooks, highlighters, white-out, legal pads, staples and paper clips, Label tape machine labels
3. Household items: paper towels, toilet paper, trash bags, facial tissue, etc. laundry soap, cleaning supplies, sponges, comet, etc.
4. 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
5. Toys: infant/toddler toys, preschool and school-age toys/games
6. Baby supplies: diapers, wipes
7. Travel size toiletries: soap, deodorant, cotton swabs, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, etc.
8. New hygiene items: brushes, combs, toothbrushes
9. Non-perishable snacks: drink boxes/juice packs, cracker packs, goldfish, fruit snacks
10. Regular ground coffee
11. Roller pads (for paint rollers), painters tape, brooms, dustpans, gardening gloves, canvas drop cloths., new home building supplies
12. Non perishable food and boys teen clothing
13. Skeins of yarn, regular and baby yarn-all colors
Please pitch in. Sometimes, a stuffed animal is as good as gold.