EAGLE RIVER - As you pull into Parsons of Eagle River, one vehicle really stands out. A bright, yellow school bus sits in front of the dealership awaiting donations.
The Fill the Bus campaign aims to collect a lot of school supplies for local children.
You won't find a single kid on the school bus, but Jenny Gretzinger knows that with a little help the bus will end up full of the tools kids need to succeed.
"Start small and dream big," said Gretzinger, owner of Parsons at Eagle River.
She came up with the Fill the Bus idea, and she's asking anyone to donate school supplies over the next month.
"There's so many different things that the kids need or the families need money for, between the supplies and the food and the teachers with the Kleenex and the Clorox wipe and all that kind of stuff," said Gretzinger.
As donations come in, Parsons will fill lime green containers with any donated supplies.
"This is just one example of how a community, a school, and businesses can all work together," said Northland Pines Superintendent Dr. Mike Richie.
He knows many of his students can use a little bit of help.
"We take everything for granted," Richie said. "We have a number of families here on free and reduced lunch, and we try to help them out as much as possible."
During the school year, Richie says some schools will even send snacks home with kids for the weekend.
And now that it's summertime, the need to collect supplies for the next school year is high.
The goal by the end of August is to have this bus filled with school supplies such as pens, pencils, crayons--even backpacks--for kids to take home.
"What this does is it puts everyone at a level playing field once they start the school year," said Richie.
The school year will arrive soon, and Gretzinger expects the community to help make sure everyone is prepared.
"Yeah, it would be great to fill the bus," she said.
The Fill the Bus campaign runs through August 26, and donations can be dropped off at the Parsons in Eagle River until then.
For every item donated, the person's name will be entered to win a $25 gift certificate.
The drawings will take place every week until the end of the campaign.
Click the link below to see more about the campaign.
Fill the Bus campaign