Rotary Club of Pottsville

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July 13, 2016

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PROGRAM Michelle Halabura, Schuylkill United Way

Michelle Halabura, Director of Community Relations at Schuylkill United Way, talked to us this week about the 14th annual United Way Stuff the Bus promotion. This promotion is designed to help provide school supplies to underprivileged children. Among the supplies the United Way provides are: notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, watercolors, lined paper, book bags, pencil cases, folders, etc. Michelle told the crowd the average cost to fill a backpack is $80 – $100, and goes up as children reach higher grades. Last year the United Way gave out 1,200 backpacks, and this year they have 1,400 on order.

Michelle mentioned many area organizations that request backpacks or have developed lists of children and families in need that are recipients of this program. Among them are Avenues, Cloud Home, Women in Crisis, Child development, SARCC, Big Brothers / Big Sisters, Society for Crippled Children, Red Cross, Salvation Army of Pottsville and Tamaqua, plus several school districts. She also mentioned many area businesses that support Stuff the Bus, some serving as drop off points for donations and others providing donations themselves or offering significant discounts on purchased supplies.

Volunteers are also needed to help prepare and distribute the backpacks. On July 29 from noon to 3 pm at Pottsville Salvation Army volunteers will help prepare the materials to be inserted in the backpacks, sorting supplies and setting up for the actual stuffing. On August 1 from 9 a.m. to noon volunteers will man an assembly line to fill the 1,400 backpacks in time for distribution, which starts that afternoon. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Michelle at (570)622-6421

Thanks to Michelle for an interesting program and we wish her success with this promotion.

President Terry also played the beginning of a recording from 1970 of Paul Harvey titled What is a Policeman? He encouraged members to find it on YouTube as it is very timely in light of recent events.

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