Over the last 10 years, Bay Shore’s Suffolk Transportation Service and United Way have teamed up for the annual Stuff-A-Bus program.

And this year’s event was the most successful to date.

Students from the Brentwood, Copiague, Wyandanch, Central Islip, South Huntington, Huntington, Longwood, and South Country school districts were given 175,000 critical school supplies by organizations across the island, enough to stuff a bus.

Those supplies are then dispersed throughout Long Island, helping about 7,000 students and their families.

“I could have never imagined that Stuff-A-Bus would have this tremendous impact when we started 10 years ago,” said John Corrado, president of Suffolk Transportation Service, Inc. “I am incredibly proud to have been part of this program from the start, and to see all the lives that have been touched by something as small as a pencil.”

Over this past decade, the Stuff-A-Buss drives have gathered 750,000 supplies, helping 32,000 children.

“If a student does not have the tools they need to succeed at the start of the school year, they could lack confidence and the desire to learn because they feel they aren’t adequately prepared, or not as smart as the kids with the new notebooks” said Theresa A. Regnante, president and CEO of United Way of Long Island.

Bob McCarthy, principal of Loretta Park Elementary School in Brentwood, says the impact of these additional supplies is tremendous for his students.

“The students here at Loretta Park Elementary School are so grateful to United Way of Long Island’s Stuff-A-Bus program – they couldn’t wait to unpack all their new things and get started using them,” he said. “The value of an education is immeasurable, and our staff can feel confident knowing that kids in their class all have the opportunity to grow and learn this year.”

Top: Courtesy photo from this year’s Stuff-A-Bus program.