Bucks Writs - Winter 2020 - 20


Bucks 4 Kids
By Nancy Larkin Taylor, Executive Director, Bucks for Kids

I ran into one of my favorite Bucks Countians at the gym,
writer Marian Callahan. She was taking her first gym class
after an emergency appendectomy. I lent her my hair clip.
After class Marian told me of a piece she was writing for
the Intelligencer that features the numerous local Back to
School donation drives for kids in need. I was reminded that
we live in a generous community, due perhaps to the area
wealth or to our Quaker heritage; probably a combination
of both. Every year, hundreds of Bucks County students
receive Back to School supplies from a variety of sources.
United Way's Stuff the Bus United Way project, run
efficiently by Executive Director Danielle Bush, is probably
the godfather of local Back to School drives. Every July,
Bucks United Way asks all of its associated nonprofits to
donate backpacks, gift cards and school supplies. The
response is astounding.
Volunteers and staff stuff hundreds of brand-new
backpacks, with all kinds of goodies, from spiral notebooks
to highlighters to pencil cases stuffed with gel-cap pens.
They are safely stored in a warehouse until a particular
Monday in August. On that day, a trail of vans and SUVs
driven by social workers, caseworkers, teachers and pastors
head to Bensalem. Taking as many backpacks as they can
carry, these volunteers distribute them to kids they know
need them but who can't afford them.

the office to pick up the gifts. The gifting was pretty labor
intensive and lacked content as you never found out if the
child liked the gift. Now, it's so much easier to write a check
or buy a gift card. Donations make us feel good and these
contributions are worthy causes.

Diane Meyer of Children and Youth, who is in charge of
picking up Bucks for Kids backpacks each year, characterizes the giveaway scene, "As a madhouse, worse than
Black Friday. But what a great thing for each kid." We
really do appreciate it, Diane. (Diane has an SUV and three
13-year-old sons to shoulder this burden.)

At Bucks for Kids, we supply these types of nice surprises all
year-round. Every month we meet to review and approve
requests for hundreds of little and not so little items and
services for kids receiving care, soccer cleats, tutors, money
for class trips, ballet lessons so a little girl can get out of
the house on Saturday wearing her pink tutu and her Mom
doesn't have to worry about paying the tuition, as the class
is already paid for. We visualize the circumstances.

Imagine not having your school supplies on the first day?
Social faux pas. Embarrassing. Doylestown restaurants,
stores, law firms and the Bucks Co. Bar Association are just
a few of the many backpack collectors and distributors. It's
a September tradition.

Starting 30 years ago, I wish we had kept track statistically of various grant categories: age, gender, geographic
location. Parents: deceased, incarcerated, addicted,
disappeared, on disability. What a treasure trove for
academic analysis. Whatever. The data points don't
matter. All the applications are cries for help. The
reward is the cumulative effect of good done for Bucks
County's future adults.

This generosity reappears at Christmastime. During my
time, a local family was chosen by a business or a parish.
You were handed a scrap of paper with the age and sex of
the child you were buying for. You didn't know anything
else about her or him. One day a church deacon stopped by


Bucks Writs - Winter 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bucks Writs - Winter 2020

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