July 14, 2024

Let’s Stuff The Bus

UW, CPS, PHPS & OPP team up to collect 2,000 backpacks 

Image: (L-R) Maggie Darling & Paul VandeGraaf

The start of a new school year is an exciting time for many students and parents. However, for those living in a low-income household, some of which may be dealing with unemployment, it can bring stress and worry. So… United Way Northumberland figures one way to relieve the pressure is to help kids get off to a good start with a nice new backpack that has some of the essential tools kids need for school.

Right now, United Way Northumberland is gearing up for its annual Backpacks for Kids program. This year, United Way is excited to announce a special new partnership with the Cobourg Police Service (CPS), Port Hope Police Service (PHPS) and the Northumberland Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to launch the “Stuff the Bus” campaign. Together, they aim to collect 2,000 backpacks to support children in need within our community. 

Starting Tuesday, July 11, 2023, and running until Tuesday, August 8, 2023, community members are invited to  donate new backpacks. These backpacks will be filled with essential school supplies and distributed to children and families across Northumberland County. 

“We are thrilled to partner with the local police services for the Stuff the Bus campaign to ensure students have the tools they need for a successful school year,” says Maggie Darling, Acting Executive Director, United Way Northumberland. “We’re grateful to our community for supporting this program for the past 18 years and excited about this new initiative.”  

Backpack donations are accepted at the following drop-off locations:

  • Cobourg Police Station 
  • Port Hope Police Station 
  • Northumberland OPP detachments in Campbellford, Brighton, and Cobourg 
  • United Way Northumberland 
  • Staples Cobourg 
  • Ganaraska Financial Credit Union Cobourg and Port Hope Branches

“A backpack and a few quality school supplies can help set children up for success at school. The Backpacks for Kids program helps reduce stigma and increases confidence so a young student can focus on learning,” says Chief Paul VandeGraaf, Cobourg Police Service. “Help us collect 2,000 backpacks to support children and youth across Northumberland County.”

Since its launch in 2005, Northumberland United Way’s Backpacks for Kids program has provided support to more than 20,000 students in Northumberland County. 

Local Police Services are joining a growing list of supporters for United Way’s Backpacks for Kids program. This list includes Staples, Northumberland County, Cameco, Ganaraska Financial Credit Union, Northumberland Sunrise Rotary, Port Hope Rotary Club, Sabic, Cobourg Lion’s Community Centre, Northumberland Food 4 All, Northumberland Labour Council, Hometown Bingo, and various other local groups that organize annual supply drives.

Stay tuned to United Way’s social media channels for announcements throughout the campaign. 

To learn more about the “Stuff the Bus” campaign or donate monetarily to United Way’s Backpacks for Kids program, please visit




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