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This year’s Stuff the Bus Maine’s campaign was profoundly affected by Covid. They could not hold their usual supply donation drives at Walmart. In prior years, these drives accounted for 90 percent of Stuff the Bus Maine’s supplies collection, which is used to help an estimated 4,000 York County students.

Wanda Parent, the organization’s Director, was contacted by the Strategies for a Stronger Sanford program, and encouraged to apply for a grant through the Sanford Unitarian Universalist Church’s Covid-19 relief fund. This fund was created to help organizations whose important work was deeply affected by the global pandemic.

Stuff the Bus Maine applied, and received a grant for $10,000 dollars. Ms. Parent described how this was a game changer for the program. “We went from not planning to do anything, to handing out over 400 backpacks, so far. We also purchased Ukuleles for an entire 4th grade music class, whom because of Covid can’t do recorders or Chorus this year. We are deeply grateful to the Sanford Unitarian Universalist Church for their generosity, and have chosen them as the recipient of the 2020 Stuff the Bus award! Congratulations, we can never express how much this gift has meant to our program and the children and teachers we help! It was the beginning of us raising $22,474 so far this year which is amazing, we come from a caring and strong community, that rises above even the challenges of a global Pandemic.”

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