Oshkosh Area United Way “stuffed the truck” on Tuesday, July 9, at their annual Stuff the Truck event at the Walmart Supercenter. The items collected support the Oshkosh-Winneconne Back to School Fair, which helps over 1,000 students from low-income families get ready for the new school year.
Due to the generosity of community members, United Way collected over 3,200 items during the one-day event. This is an increase of over 210%, compared to the 2018 event.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 1 in 5 Oshkosh families live below the federal poverty line, and 46% of Oshkosh households struggle to meet their basic needs, like utilities and food.
“It’s a huge burden for a lot of these families to have to make a decision like this, said Mary Ann L. Dilling, President & CEO of Oshkosh Area United Way.
“Knowing this we feel that we have a responsibility to bring our community together and help give these families a little peace of mind during the back to school season,” said Dilling.
The Oshkosh-Winneconne Back to School Fair event provides grade-specific school supplies, hygiene products, clothing, and other goods and services to help prepare referred students for the new school year and better achieve academic success.
The Oshkosh Area United Way would like to thank David Kersztyn from Keenline Conveyor Systems, who is also the newest Oshkosh Area United Way board member, for lending them the truck, and the Oshkosh Police Department for their community service during the event. They would also like to Walmart Oshkosh for their support in sharing a location for the truck.
Teams of volunteers helped set up, hand out shopping lists and greet shoppers, organized and counted items, and unloaded the truck on Tuesday. This truly was a community effort.
Pam Schutz, Chief Executive Officer of Covey, and a few of her co-workers volunteered their time to support this important cause on Tuesday.
“It was incredible,” said Schutz.
“A women dropped off five or six bags of items on her way out of the store. We thanked her profusely and she shared that at one time some years ago, she was that struggling mom who couldn’t afford school supplies. She was so pleased to be in a position today where she could give back,” Schutz continued.
The Oshkosh-Winneconne Back to School Fair takes place on August 15. Attendees need a referral from local organizations like ADVOCAP, Boys & Girls Club, or Salvation Army to participate.