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About Amy Umble: Amy Umble writes about religion and social issues affecting the Fredericksburg community. You can email her at

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Back to School Shopping

Right now, in the middle of a heat wave, it’s hard to believe that back-to-school will be upon us soon. But it will.

For many families, this is not an exciting time of freshly sharpened pencils, new backpacks and shopping sprees. They can’t afford even the most basic supplies required by schools. And forget about new clothes. Two upcoming efforts aim to help these families:

First, Apple Federal Credit Union will sponsor a Stuff the Bus school supplies drive, kicking off Monday, July 12, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Apple Stafford Branch.

The kickoff will include prizes and food. But donations can be dropped off at the Apple Stafford Branch in Doc Stone Plaza through Aug. 25. Supplies can also be dropped off at:

  • Stafford County Schools’ Administration Building, 31 Stafford Ave.
  • Stafford County Department of Social Services, 1300 Courthouse Rd.
  • Stafford Lakes Walmart, 11 Village Parkway
  • Chic-Fil-A in Stafford on U.S. 17 and State Route 610
  • Storage 2000 in Aquia and on State Route 610

Supplies will be given to Stafford County students. Donations can include: backpacks, colored pencils, pencils, crayons, markers, safety scissors, gluesticks, calculators, hand sanitizers and more. For a complete list, visit Apple FCU’s site.

Another annual event aims to provide needy students with back-to-school clothes. The Interfaith Council partners with area congregations to get used and new clothes for school. This year, organizers are hoping the community will also donate new underwear for students, kindergarten through high school–including men’s boxer shorts; new socks and new backpacks. Donations can be dropped of at Bragg Hill Family Life Center, starting Aug. 2. Drop them off Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon.