This year was the 11th year of Stuff the Bus.
The community support was amazing as always!
With teachers and students served on the day of Distribution Event, Aug. 25th, the lives of about 3,000 school aged children will be impacted. Included in this year’s aftercare was, Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine, and supplies for 3 separate mission trips of Curtis Lake Church, and Vision Juarez, a program that assists Rivers of Mercy Orphanage in Juarez Mexico.
It was exciting for the second year in a row to have more than enough backpacks ensuring every student who attended the event on August 25th left with one. Having left over bags allows me to rectify any registration errors, and to provide transition backpacks to school counsellors and caseworkers who contact me. I estimate that we gave out, and will continue to share, an estimated $25,000 in backpacks and school supplies.
We had amazing supplies collection days at Walmart. I was amazed that despite less than ideal weather from downpours to extreme heat, customers put on their rain coats and brought supplies to the bus! It was a testimony to the public’s commitment to this program.
I was very proud of my volunteers, especially the kids who suffered the heat without complaint. This year we welcomed the folks from Great Bay services, a program that serves adults with disabilities. Stuff the Bus was all too happy to provide them the opportunity to volunteer! They did an outstanding job.
This proved to be a good situation as I was able to meet and connect with Elijah Mooreshead from Learning Works. We began collaboration with his students. These youth are meeting their court or school community service requirements. They did counting, sorting, and boxing. They were instrumental in my being ready for the box truck to do “load in”.
I plan to continue utilizing the help of the Learning Works to organize the Right Brain Club supplies and areas. We will then be incorporating them into the Club. They are great kids, were very respectful, and worked very hard for me. Elijah has invited me to a meeting to speak about my ideas for Right Brain Club and a future community center for our youth. It is my firm belief that we need to value and invest in our youth now in order to build a successful and invested community future.
Contact: Wanda Parent, Volunteer Director of Stuff the Bus
Stuff the Bus website: stuffthebus.me.