It’s that time of year again when United Way challenges the local community to help the nonprofit organization stuff a bus with thousands of backpacks.

This is the 13th year United Way hosts the Stuff-A-Bus event, which is planned from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. today and Saturday at Walgreens, 1401 N. Turner Street.

“We’d like to fill 2,000 backpacks,” said Janelle Blain, United Way campaign and event coordinator. “We’ll had the school bus out there collecting supplies. It goes to all five of the (Lea County) towns.”

Blain said she surveyed the local schools to see what school supplies are essential for students to have in the 2017-18 school year.

“I have a list of five essential items that each kid needs,” Blain said. “Walgreens has made an already packed backpack and for $10 someone can come out and buy a backpack with the supplies in it that will provide for a student throughout the school year.” The five essential school supplies items that United Way officials are asking to be donated include backpacks, crayons, pens, pencil, loose-leaf paper and six spiral notebooks.

“They don’t have to buy (school supplies) at Walgreens but we’re really trying to stress those five items to make a complete kit to provide for that student,” Blain said.

After the Stuff-A-Bus event the backpacks will be distributed to school children in Hobbs, Lovington, Jal, Eunice and Tatum.

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“It’s a community event and it goes to the kids and goes to all the schools,” Blain said. “We’re really trying to provide for as many students as possible.”

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