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After these past few years of economic stress, it is no surprise that many families are struggling 07-25-12-stuff_the_bus_logo.gifwith back to school shopping. Unfortunately, some families just can’t handle the cost and children are returning to school without any of the basic necessities required for efficient learning in the schools. In an effort to combat this deficit Cumberland County Education Foundation is partnering with Cumberland County Schools and Operation Homefront to provide school supplies to the under privileged with their Stuff the Bus! drive.

With the rise of global media the news is increasingly fl ooded with cries for help from distant nations. Mailboxes are crammed full with fl iers to save starving children or donate a cow to a village, and while it is a responsibility as a global community, particularly a wealthy and relatively stable country to assist our foreign brethren as much as possible, it is feared that this wave of pleas drowns out those problems closest to home. Children in our own towns and even neighborhoods have to face every day without the necessities they require to succeed. It is hard to complete assignments without the paper to write on nor the pencil to write with, and the schools cannot provide the supplies every student requires so it is often diffi cult for students to succeed. Some of the world’s most brilliant minds came from underprivileged backgrounds, but it was because of the kind and generous people in their lives that helped them that they were able reach their fullest potential.

A donation of simple things like pencils and paper, will enable children that would otherwise struggle in school to succeed, and perhaps unlock a passion for learning. If nothing else, even if these children are not the next presidents or inventors, it will help them to improve their lives, and the lives of their children.

For many it can be a source of shame to ask for help, and to admit that they cannot provide for their own children. This drive provides the opportunity for the community to support families without questions, or shame. It is the opportunity for the community to open its arms and support its neighbors in need and to invest in its own future by ensuring that its children become well educated and productive. The donations to this cause will benefit children in Cumberland County and on Fort Bragg.

The drives will take place on Aug. 3 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Wal-mart Super Centers on Hope Mills Road, Raeford Road, Ramsey Street and Spring Lake locations. It is requested that all school supplies are newly bought and donation checks should be payable to Cumberland County Education Foundation. The most needed items are backpacks, 3-ring binders, flash drives, loose-leaf paper, composition notebooks, pocket folders, colored pencils, and pencils/mechanical pencils. Gift cards are also appreciated.

For more information, call School Social Services at 678-2621.

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