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Space in the bus gets stuffed, stuffed, stuffed

T-R FILE PHOTO The House of Compassion is gearing up for another year of Stuff the Bus. With a goal of serving around 600 students, many volunteers are needed.

As summer reaches its end, families are starting to collect supplies to prepare children for school success. Some Marshalltown families, however, may struggle to provide the needed tools.

The House of Compassion is preparing to host the annual Stuff the Bus Campaign to fill this need.

Volunteers will pack approximately 600 backpacks with school supplies for Marshalltown children from 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, Friday and Saturday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

March Runner, director of the House of Compassion, said there is a great need for volunteers.

There are only a few volunteers for each day and no one is signed up for the distribution.

“We’d be grateful for them to do it,” Runner said. “We just need some help.”

Volunteers can sign up for hour slots by calling the House of Compassion at 641-752-5999.

Distribution of supplies will occur 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 14 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 15.

While the Great Hall in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church has been used for the campaign in previous years, it will take place in a smaller area through the first door north of the preschool entrance. The Great Hall is not available because it is being prepared for Headstart classes which begin Aug. 17.

As precautions to keep everyone safe, masks are required and it is recommended that children stay home.

In order to pick up a backpack, families need to have a file with House of Compassion along with proof that children are enrolled in the Marshalltown Community School District and live with them. This could be a copy of the Parent Portal page or reduced lunch paperwork.

The House of Compassion was able to collect all the supplies needed through donations and grants except for deodorant, which they decided to forego as some children have allergies to certain ingredients in them.

Runner said this is the first year they have received all of the supplies they need.

“We really want to thank the Marshalltown community for stepping up and helping us,” she said.

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Contact Anna Shearer at 641-753-6611 or ashearer@timesrepublican.com.

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