Southwest “Stuffs the Bus” for back-to-school

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The Governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano, held a press conference at the State Capital recently in support of The Salvation Army Fulton Homes “Stuff the Bus” program. The program is a collaborative effort between Fulton Homes, Clear Channel Radio, The Salvation Army and Desert Ridge Marketplace to provide the “neediest” children in the Phoenix community with backpacks, school supplies, clothing and shoes for the upcoming school year.

The governor and government employees kicked-off the back-to-school program by filling a school bus with school supplies and clothing for children in need. Napolitano described the “Stuff the Bus” program and spoke on other education-related issues. Ira Fulton, president of Fulton Homes, and Lt. Colonel Don Mowery, Southwest Divisional Commander, spoke on behalf of their organizations. Representatives from Desert Ridge Marketplace and Clear Channel Radio (KNIX, KEZ, KFYI, KISS) were also present.

Through the “Stuff the Bus” program, individuals from the Phoenix community were encouraged to stop by the “Stuff the Bus” storefront located at Desert Ridge Marketplace, select a handprint (each representing a child in need of back-to-school items), purchase school supplies and/or clothing for that child, and return the items to the storefront. Arts and crafts and other fun activities were available at the storefront for “Stuff the Bus” participants who had children. In addition, ColdStone Creamery offered free ice cream (at selected times) and discounts off of purchases for those who participated in the program.

Twenty-seven school districts in the Phoenix area have been selected to receive items through the “Stuff the Bus” program. Nearly 85 to 100 percent of the more than 4,000 children who will be served live in poverty and begin each school year without clothes, shoes, and/or necessary supplies to succeed academically. The Fulton Homes “Stuff the Bus” program will enable these children to focus on education by giving them the necessary resources to succeed.

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