BANGOR, Maine — If you were out shopping at Walmart in Bangor or Lincoln on Friday, you may have seen school buses parked out front. The goal was to fill those buses with brand new school supplies to be donated to children in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties ahead of the upcoming school year.
The United Way of Eastern Maine partnered with Penquis to host its annual "Fill the Bus" donation drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The organizations came together to collect school supplies for children in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties.
Accepted items include backpacks, pens, pencils, notebooks, binders, filler paper, pencil boxes, colored pencils, markers, folders, highlighters, erasers, and more. Cash donations were also accepted.
Organizers said the goal is to collect enough supplies to provide at least 1,200 filled backpacks to kids who need them ahead of the upcoming school year.
Matt Donahue, Chief Impact Officer for United Way of Eastern Maine, said it's a great feeling to see the impact of these donations on the children they benefit.
"Hearing how they feel having a brand new backpack is such a rewarding and awesome feeling, because they may not have a backpack that works, they might be carrying all their stuff. Having a brand new backpack with brand new stuff inside of it makes a big difference. It might seem like a small thing, many of us were fortunate to have a new backpack and all kinds of school supplies, but there are many, many kids across our region who don't have that opportunity," Donahue said.
Darling's Ice Cream for a Cause truck was also stationed next to the bus at the Bangor Walmart offering free ice cream from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. All donations made in place of payment were given directly to the cause.
If you missed out on the event but would still like to donate, click here. You can also text 'Help A Student' to 44321 and you'll be sent a web link to the donations page.