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Fill the bucket in its 12th year in Pahrump

For the 12th consecutive year, Valley Electric Association will conduct its Fill the Bucket School Supply Drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4, to support the schools within VEA’s service territory, the VEA announced.

Ambassadors and VEA staff will collect school supplies in Pahrump at Walmart, Albertsons, and Smith’s. The ambassadors will then distribute the supplies to every school within the VEA service territory. Also, supplies will be collected in the VEA lobby through Aug. 3.

“What an awesome way to demonstrate the power of community,” said Cassandra Selbach, executive vice president of community relations. “It’s such an inspiration to witness how many people show up every year on a hot summer Saturday with a smile, ready to serve their neighbors, near and far.”

Following is a list of supplies that school officials have identified as being most needed by students: No. 2 pencils, 24-count Crayola crayons (classic colors), long twistable crayons (primary colors), three-ring binders (1-inch), 3×5 index cards, backpacks, paper bags (white/brown), Band-Aids, colored pencils, composition notebooks, dry-erase markers (fine tip and broad tip), folders, bottled glue, glue sticks, hand-held pencil sharpeners, highlighters, large pink pearl erasers, paper (college ruled or wide ruled), paper towels, pens (red, blue or black ink), plastic pencil cases, protractor/compass, rulers (inches and centimeters), scissors, spiral-bound notebooks (wide ruled), tissues, wipes and Zip-loc bags (snack/sandwich/quart/gallon).

Thirty-two buckets were filled during one of the hottest days of the summer in 2017, coming close to breaking the record of 37 buckets set in 2016. The ambassadors hope to exceed that amount this year.

“The annual event, which began in 2007, has its roots in the Seven Cooperative Principles, several of which focus on education and concern for community,” says Frank Bonesteel, chairman of the Ambassador Executive Committee. “The program has been a favorite of VEA staff and ambassadors ever since.”

This year will be VEA CEO Angela Evans’ second Fill the Bucket and her first as CEO.

“I am always excited to help kids,” Evans said. “This is just a great event to help the school kids start the year off on the right track. This is what VEA does, we help the community wherever we can, whenever we can—it is the core of what a cooperative is all about.”

Each year, members are excited to support the event by dropping supplies into the bucket as they exit the stores. Many shoppers also donate money, which is then used by the volunteers to purchase the needed supplies.

In order to get the supplies to schools as soon as possible, dozens of VEA ambassadors will gather on Tuesday, Aug. 7, to organize the supplies that are collected and package them in boxes for delivery.

“My wife and I look forward to volunteering at this event each year,” says Robert Moore, chairman of the Ambassador Community Service Committee. “It is wonderful working alongside other ambassadors and staff to make a difference in our community.”

VEA’s Ambassador Program, 600-members strong, has been in existence for just over a decade. Ambassadors seek to be well informed and educated on the day-to-day operations of VEA, as well as its future.

These members want to make a difference in their community and support VEA by participating on committees, attending meetings and joining VEA staff at functions, organizers said.

They provide feedback on VEA initiatives, programs and activities. They talk to their neighbors and share information.

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