The United Way of Northwest Louisiana is looking for volunteers and donations of new school supplies for its annual Fill the Bus School Supply Drive.

According to a news release, 4,500 backpacks full of supplies were distributed to schools in northwest Louisiana after last year's event. This year's drive will benefit more than 4,000 elementary, middle and high school children identified as ALICE -- which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed -- and/or families in poverty throughout three different school systems.

"ALICE families that are working hard, but can't keep up with the high cost of living, are faced with having to choose between buying school supplies or paying for basic bills," United Way CEO Dr. Bruce Wilson, Jr., said. "We are helping to east this financial struggle and give some students the basics to start off the school year on the right track."

By partnering with www.YouGiveGoods.com, the United Way is enabling donors to make an online purchase of supplies that will be delivered automatically to the local facility. You can also make a monetary donation on the United Way's website.

If you want to drop off donations, you can bring them to the United Way offices at 820 Jordan St., Suite 370, in Shreveport, or 202 Miller Street in Minden.

Supplies will also be collected at four area Wal-Mart locations:

East Bert Kouns, Shreveport -- July 14-15, 3-7 p.m.; July 16, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; July 22, 3-7 p.m.; July 23, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

N. Market St., Blanchard -- July 14-15, 3-7 p.m.; July 16, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; July 21-22, 3-7 p.m.; July 23, 10 a-m.-2 p.m.

Airline Drive, Bossier City -- August 4-5, 3-7 p.m.; August 6, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Homer Road, Minden -- July 22, 4-8 p.m.; July 23, 8 a.m.-noon

Items needed are: backpacks, binders, three-ring notebooks, filler paper, pocket folders, composition and spiral notebooks, index cards, pencils, pencil sharpeners, erasers, pens, highlighters, crayons, markers, colored pencils, construction paper, glue, rulers, dry erase markers and scissors.

If you need information on making donations, or volunteering at one of the collection or stuffing events, email Jennifer Martin at jennifera@unitedwaynwla.org or call 318-677-2504, ext. 136.