Greater Ottawa County United Way announced that $23,130 worth of school supplies and backpacks were collected and distributed during the annual Stuff the Bus School Supply & Backpack Drive, which took place from July 23 through Aug. 6 throughout Ottawa County.

Public donations were accepted at Fifth Third Bank locations in the county, Loutit District Library, Ottawa Area Intermediate School District and at Holland radio station WHTC.

Donations can still be made by texting BUS to 30306.

During the past several weeks, 475 backpacks full of school supplies were distributed to local students at the Grand Haven and Holland Salvation Army locations. 

“This year, the need was met for all families who applied for backpacks and school supplies,” said Shannon LaHaie Behm, vice president of volunteer engagement for the local United Way. “We would like to thank our partners and our community for their generous support in helping local kids start the school year with the tools they need to succeed.”

Companies that hosted in-house Stuff the Bus drives included Automatic Spring Products, Bekins, Catholic Charities West Michigan, City of Grand Haven, Civic Center Place, Community Mental Health, Consumers Energy, Fifth Third Bank, Flex, Grand Haven Custom Molding, Greater Ottawa County United Way, Haworth, Heartwood Lodge Nursing Home, ITW Drawform, L&W Engineering, Loutit District Library, Mercantile Bank, North Ottawa Community Health System, Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, Padnos, Semco Energy, Tennant, Chamber of Commerce Grand Haven-Spring Lake-Ferrysburg, Urgent Care, Weiss Chiropractic, WHTC Radio, Windmill Island Gardens and Woodward.

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