Springfield, MA (
Stuff the Bus runs annually during the beginning of the school year, but changes were made as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Normally, Stuff the Bus runs supply drives at local area businesses, but to ensure the safety of our community, we only accepted monetary donations and purchased all of the supplies and backpacks.
Backpacks and their supplies at United Way of Pioneer Valley's downtown Springfield office.
This year, thanks to funding from MassMutual, we were able to deliver 2,600 backpacks – increased from 2,200 in 2019, to meet the needs of students who are homeless in our service area, as reported by area schools.
A Chicopee Public Schools bus loaded with backpacks.
As a tremendous help to our efforts, Peter Pan bus Lines volunteered a bus and its driver for delivery, and made deliveries to Agawam, Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, South Hadley, and Granby.
UWPV staff member Shalana Ali loads a Peter Pan bus.
Paul Mina, President & CEO of United Way of Pioneer Valley said: “I am very grateful to MassMutual and Peter Pan Bus Lines for allowing us to expand the reach of our program and ensure school supplies are in the most students’ hands as quickly as possible. This year, more than ever, it’s critical to ensure our students have everything we can give them.”