The Garden City Telegram

Supply surge — Stuff the Bus initiative worthy of voter support

The Stuff the Bus program has helped put needed school supplies in many local youngsters' hands.

Stuff the Bus is an effort to collect and distribute backpacks and school supplies to Finney County children in need, including a good number from homeless families.

Too many youngsters aren't equipped with even the basics needed for a solid start in school. Knowing no child should have to worry about going to school without proper supplies, Stuff the Bus organizers help fill a local need.

And now, the program has found its way into a bigger spotlight.

In acknowledging the local program's effectiveness and potential to help needy students, State Farm Insurance chose Stuff the Bus as a finalist in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist program, and named it one of the top 200 projects submitted. The leading 40 vote-getters on Facebook will receive $25,000 for their project.

While such funds could go a long way locally in providing supplies and books, it's also good to know a strong coalition of agencies already has helped stuff children's backpacks with school supplies.

The Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce, Finney County United Way, Finney County Health Coalition and local retailers have worked together on efforts to gather school supplies, with Spirit of the Plains, CASA; the Salvation Army; Garden City USD 457 Migrant/Homeless Program; and United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries also involved in distributing backpacks and supplies.

They all know that for youngsters in at-risk families in particular, it's often a challenge to receive such basic essentials as a good meal to start the day, or such classroom necessities as paper and pencils.

Not having the proper supplies can be embarrassing and affect a child's self-esteem. Every youngster should start school on solid footing to have a realistic shot at success.

All in the community who understand the plight of those who are disadvantaged, and want to give students in that predicament an assist, deserve credit.

Their efforts also deserve votes that could result in more funds being put to good use in equipping students with items they need to succeed in school.