Personal care items like toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, soap, laundry supplies, toilet paper, etc. are basic needs that most people take for granted. However, for families in need, maintaining hygiene can be a real challenge. Even those receiving government assistance can find it difficult to fit such items into the household budget, since assistance is often restricted to purchase of food for the family.
As they travel over 2, 700 miles a day over local roads, Franklin County Community School Corporation bus drivers see firsthand the poverty that affects so many Franklin County students. “Stuff the Bus” is a school bus driver-led initiative begun this year to collect toys and personal care and household items for local families in need.
Each school bus driver received a canvas collection bag sporting the “Stuff the Bus” logo. The bags were supplied at very deep discount by local CVS Pharmacy manager Tammy Grant. The drivers then distributed a flyer to each family on the bus detailing the collection effort, which began two weeks before Christmas and ended December 18th.
Response from the drivers, students and their families was tremendous, with several thousand dollars worth of toys, cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, and personal care items collected. The items were channeled back out into the communities through the Laurel School Christmas campaign, the BUMC Christmas families program, and through Works of Mercy, the food pantry at SIEOC, and Harvest Land Storehouse in New Trenton.
The drivers would like to express their sincere appreciation to the community for supporting this first-year effort. Organizers hope to expand the program even further next year and continue to bring help to our students in need.