11 Cares gearing up for ‘Pack the Bus’ event to benefit students, teachers with school supplies

PITTSBURGH — Community members are invited to donate school supplies to benefit local students and teachers at this Saturday’s “Pack the Bus” event.

11 Cares is teaming up with our sponsors (84 Lumber, Clearview Federal Credit Union, Duquesne Light and Highmark Wholecare) to host the annual drive, which benefits The Education Partnership.

From 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., volunteers will be collecting items outside of five local Staples locations. For the full list and a link to other donation drop-off sites, visit https://www.wpxi.com/community/11-cares/11-cares-pack-bus-event-aug-27-staples-locations/SMEQTVOWORFHRLAKFGV27MRPZM/

The Education Partnership launched in 2009 to assist local teachers with obtaining supplies for their classrooms. Educators in some districts are not provided with the funds to cover those costs.

“We wanted to do whatever we could to alleviate that stress,” said Josh Whiteside, executive director of the nonprofit.

Whiteside said the nonprofit hopes to assist roughly 9,000 teachers this year. Already, it has donated more than $1 million worth of supplies, and hope to give away items totaling $10 million by the end of the school year.

Channel 11 spoke with several grateful teachers collecting supplies during one of the organization’s teacher shopping days on Wednesday.

Pittsburgh Public Schools elementary teacher Rachel Kirkwood told us she and her students are tremendously appreciative of the donations. Her kids even write ‘thank you’ notes for the supplies.

“This is 100% for the kids, this isn’t for us,” she said, noting that the partnership offers book bags and other essential items that some children don’t otherwise have the access to get.

Whiteside said pencils and paper are particularly in demand, but any and all supplies are appreciated. Gently-used items can be donated as well.

Download the FREE WPXI News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Channel 11 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch WPXI NOW