Marquette County ‘Stuff The Bus’ campaign

The YMCA of Marquette County and several local businesses, including ABC 10 and CW 5, came together Monday for the ‘Stuff The Bus’ campaign.

The goal is to gather back to school supplies for area children whose parents might otherwise struggle to provide those items.

“We have families, their budgets are strapped tight, and to have a large thing like backpacks and all the other stuff that it takes to be ready for the school year is really important for both the kids and the families,” YMCA Lake Superior Village Child & Family Center supervisor Ben Platt said.

The campaign, and the items collected in it, boost the confidence of kids.

Businesses have been collecting items themselves — UPPCO, SEMCO Energy and others stopped by with gifts — and so has a civic organization.

“We’re stuffing the bus, and the Marquette Rotary Club today brought all their kids, and they stuffed the bus with school supplies,” Eagle Radio Group vice president of sales Rosemary Smith said. “We’ve all had that experience before where we weren’t prepared for something.”

Organizers say that small donations, whether they’re note pads, glue sticks or pencils, can be big steps to help kids start the new school year on the right foot.

“We even had some graphing calculators, all kinds of things,” Marquette Holiday Inn Guest Experience Champion DeeDee Larson said. “It’s pretty easy. When you go into any of the stores that have these supplies, they all have lists that are given from each of the school districts.”

The back-to-school items will help dozens of kids in Marquette County as they get ready to return to the classroom next week.