Pinellas County Schools planning for August re-opening (copy)

The Pinellas Education Foundation has partnered with Westfield Countryside to support the Stuff the Bus school supplies drive.

CLEARWATER — The Pinellas Education Foundation has partnered with Westfield Countryside to support the Stuff the Bus school supplies drive. The monthlong initiative benefiting Pinellas County Schools’ students in need will take place at the shopping center from July 15 to Aug. 15 and also will feature a special, daylong donation drive on Friday, July 31, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Westfield Countryside is at 27001 U.S. 19 N., Ste 1039, Clearwater.

Stuff the Bus has been a back-to-school mainstay of the Pinellas Education Foundation and the Pinellas County Council PTA, and serves a crucial need with more than 60% of Pinellas County Schools’ students economically disadvantaged. Supplies donated as part of Stuff the Bus ensure that all students will have the tools they need to succeed in the new school year.

Westfield Countryside will be accepting school supplies during its monthlong drive at a colorful display area inside the center. For the July 31 event, people can either participate at a contactless drop-off area outside the center beside a Pinellas County Schools bus or bring their donations inside the shopping center to the Stuff the Bus display area.

Last year, more than 10,000 pounds of school supplies were collected in two Stuff the Bus events in Pinellas County. This year’s drive is especially important given the financial hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re so grateful to Westfield Countryside for participating in this impactful event,” said Pinellas Education Foundation CEO Stacy Baier. “They’re leveraging their strong community presence to collect much-needed school supplies to economically disadvantaged students.”

For anyone who can’t donate in person, contributing to the drive virtually is an easy option. Visit StuffTheBusPinellas.org to give online.