Donations being sought for local children in need

By Chad Koenen


Photo by Chad Koenen
Stuff the Bus is underway in Henning. Collection boxes for school supplies are set up throughout town. 

The annual Stuff the Bus campaign is underway and local volunteers are hoping to give families in need a little jumpstart on the school year. 

As part of the Stuff the Bus program, the United Way of Otter Tail and Wadena Counties will collect back to school items for families in need across the area. The items include everything from notebooks to pencils, pens, highlighters, crayons, folders and more. It is the items children need when they return to school, but oftentimes become too expensive for some families to be able to afford, especially if they have multiple children in school.

Diane Thorson, who is helping with the campaign in the Henning area, said the Stuff the Bus campaign has already received over 20 applications from families in the Henning School District. Throughout Otter Tail County the United Way receives anywhere from 700-800 applications for assistance each year. The items collected across the county will be distributed throughout the county so the more items collected, the more opportunities families in need have at receiving the back to school supplies.

Donations will be collected at several local businesses, including Henning Hardware, Seip Drug and Dollar General through the second week of August. Thorson said she made lists for each of the businesses in Henning that features the items being sold in the store. 

“What’s in the hardware store box is what I found at the hardware store,” she said. 

A collection box is also located at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church for items that may have been purchased out of the Henning community, however, Thorson encouraged local residents to shop in the greater Henning area if possible. 

“I would really like people to shop locally and use those boxes, but if they don’t, there is a box at Good Shepherd,” she said. 

Once the items have been collected they will be distributed throughout the county to help students start the school year with the items they need. The items will be collected in Henning through the second week of August and distributed before the start of school. 

Photo by Chad Koenen
The collection box at Henning Hardware features a number of items for students as part of the Stuff the Bus campaign.