‘Stuff the Bus’

HARLINGEN — Back to school can be a very expensive time.

To ease that financial burden, United Way of Northern Cameron County will team up with local businesses once again to “Stuff the Bus.”

The “Stuff the Bus” campaign is a joint effort to collect school supplies for local children who do not have the means to buy any themselves.

The campaign benefits students in Harlingen, San Benito, Rio Hondo and La Feria school districts.

“Stuff the Bus” looks to community members to donate supplies students will need during the year including backpacks, binders, notebooks and pencils.

About 12 local businesses in the area have partnered with the campaign to set up donation bins.

The Harlingen Chamber of Commerce and Texas Regional Bank are some of the different locations where people can drop off items.

The campaign originated in 2009 and has supplied school children every year since then.

One of the minds behind “Stuff the Bus,” Kathy Preddy, estimated that they have collected anywhere between eight and 10 thousand pounds of school supplies since they started eight years ago.

Preddy said the supplies can usually last a school six months.

After United Way of Northern Cameron County picks up all the donation bins, they are given directly to the school districts and parental involvement programs to divide and use for the school year.

The campaign will host a luncheon Aug. 31 to honor people from last year who have donated.

That event is free. Those attending however, should bring in school supplies.

Preddy said during these luncheons a bulk of supplies are collected.

People are also encouraged to donate items of clothing. Shoes, coats and pants are some items needed.

“Stuff the Bus” will continue to take donations until Aug. 31.

Where to Donate


• Harlingen City Hall

• First Community Bank

• Harlingen Area

Chamber of Commerce

• J&B Café

• Plains Capital Bank

• RGV Credit Union

• St. Alban’s Church

• Texas Regional Bank

• Wells Fargo

San Benito

• First Community Bank

• RGV Credit Union

What to donate

• Notebooks

• Pens/Pencils

• Crayons

• Notebook paper

• Rulers

• Calculators

• Glue sticks

• Markers

• Backpacks