Although there are still many unknowns about the coming school year and how it will proceed, the need for school supplies will be present no matter what learning scenario the 2020-21 school year starts with.

The United Way of Otter Tail and Wadena Counties will be at the Perham Area Community Center on Tuesday, Aug. 4, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is to raise donations of school supplies to help prepare a child in need for the 2020-21 school year.

"Some people are wondering with the COVID if they can even bring their backpacks to school, but no matter what, they will need supplies," Jill Shipman, one of the organizers of Stuff the Bus at the PACC, said.

According to Shipman, no matter what the learning situation is this year, students will still be using their school supplies whether they are in the school or at home. "We will take just about anything," she said. "You can pick them up locally -- we like to support local. Or if you're out and about and see folders on sale, go ahead and pick them up."

According to Shipman, those who have supplies to donate but cannot make it to the Stuff the Bus event at the PACC there are supply drop off totes at the Otter Coffee in Vergas, Calvery Luthern Church, and Kenny's Candy.

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In past years the event has taken place on Perham's Main Street and hotdogs have been sold to help raise money for supplies, according to Shipman. Those who would like to make a donation by writing a check should make it out to United Way Stuff the Bus and bring it by Aug. 4, she said.

"Then we have connections were we can buy bulk supplies," Shipman said.

"If you know of any children who need backpacks and have not signed up -- because school got out early and people aren't communicating as well. They can still sign up to get them," Shipman said. Families need to sign up for their children to receive backpacks by Aug. 4, according to Shipman.

Families who have signed up to receive backpacks will be sent a letter about social distancing pick up at the Heart of the Lakes open house, Shipman said.

Supplies needed include:

  • Backpacks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Black and blue pens
  • Highlighters
  • Cap erasers
  • Large erasers
  • 12 count colored pencils
  • 24 count crayons
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Folders
  • Glue bottles
  • Glue sticks
  • Facial tissues
  • College and wide rule notebooks
  • Fine and broad line markers
  • Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Pencil cases
  • Three-ring binders
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Scientific calculators
  • Loose-leaf paper

Sign up for backpacks at:

perhamschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019-Stuff-the-Bus-school-supply-app.pdf