The generosity of North Royalton residents and businesses was once again on display July 27 at a “Stuff the Bus” event supporting the “Supplying Success” community school supply drive.
Led by North Royalton teen and member of Boy Scout Troop 526 Robert Pafford, the event was aimed to “stuff” a parked school bus with school supply donations. It succeeded and filled 12 boxes worth of school supplies, Pafford said.
The “Stuff the Bus” event served as Pafford’s Eagle Scout project, which once completed, honors the incoming Saint Ignatius High School senior with the Boy Scout’s highest rank of Eagle Scout. Members of Pafford’s troop like North Royalton High School student Adam Swab also aided in the worthy cause by signing up for volunteer slots and helping the 17-year-old load donated items onto the school bus, which was stationed outside the North Royalton Discount Drug Mart. The event, which coincided with a car wash fundraiser for the North Royalton High School Show Choir, was so successful in its first hours that Pafford quickly ran out of boxes to store the donations in.
“I’m so grateful for everyone’s support,” he said in the late afternoon after more than four hours of standing outside collecting donations. “We’ve had so many people come through.”
Patrons stepped up with a range of donations including crayons, markers, pens, pencils, notebooks, folders, and larger items such as backpacks, calculators, gift cards and cash. Discount Drug Mart shoppers were also handed a flier at the store’s doors listing the most needed school supplies and several purchased their donations on-site. The flier included items like three-ring binders, dry erase markers, glue/glue sticks, supply pouches, index cards, loose-leaf paper, scissors, headphones/earbuds and the TI-34 multi-view calculator, which costs around $20. Pafford also created a “GoFundMe” page that as of July 28 had raised more than $400 to be used towards the purchasing of school supplies for North Royalton City School students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
“It’s a good cause,” said North Royalton resident Mary Angelina Vitale, who donated several packages of markers, pencils, crayons and notebooks, among other items. “Kids need to go to school prepared.”
Broadview Heights mom Michele Boal and her young daughter Avery donated crayons, glue and a ruler.
“We just thought we’d do our part to help people who need some extra help,” Michele noted as Avery handed the donations to Pafford.
The “Supplying Success” community school supply drive concluded Aug. 2 and collected supplies at various sites throughout the city: the library, Royal Redeemer Lutheran Church, the City Schools Administration Building, City Hall, Royalton Woods and the YMCA. The brainchild of resident Stacey Kelley, it was created after she noticed that no such collection drive existed in the community. The inaugural event was a total triumph as dozens of residents and businesses eagerly stepped up to help those in need. The organization kept its Facebook followers abreast of donations and fundraising efforts, like that of two local sixth-grade girls who sold lemonade and friendship bracelets and raised more than $100 for the drive. Several local businesses made donations like Vestige Digital Investigations and Chatterbox Hair Salon. The Baseball Boosters sponsored drop-off nights at York Road Recreation Fields.
Contributing Writer