Stuff the Bus project receives a donation from Kiwanis P.M.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Kiwanis P.M. President Kenny Lamb welcomes Rita Smith as the guest speaker. Smith is one of the volunteers working on the Stuff the Bus campaign for the House of Compassion.

The regular meeting of the Kiwanis P.M. was held on Wednesday at O’Hungry’s at 7 p.m. President Kenny Lamb called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence. A gift of $500 was presented to Joa LaVille for use in the Children’s Library. Ann Kent introduced the speaker, representing Stuff The Bus, Rita Smith.

Smith told us that Stuff the Bus has been a volunteer project for probably the last 15 years and each year it seems to grow. The community sees the signs, boxes for donations and the bus before school starts, but few of us realize the effort and amount of time this takes. A core group of volunteers are on the look out for good deals on school supplies the year round and wherever they go. The Episcopal Church provides a storage area that is added to until the day of sorting and packing the backpacks for distribution. There are 850 backpacks to fill with 4,000 folders, 10,000 pencils, glue sticks, pencil boxes, spiral notebooks, pens, markers, crayons, colored pencils and all the other items that a child needs for school.

There is a criteria to receive a backpack. A family must register at the House of Compassion, a file is kept for the family for the day of distribution so there are the right number of backpacks for each age group. As the families come someone helps them find the right age group from which the children to pick their backpacks.

This volunteer project is a huge undertaking and can only happen because of the generous support of the many businesses, corporations and community members, as well as all the volunteers. Smith said they are always in need of volunteers, especially interpreters. If this is something you would like to help with you can call Smith at 641-752-3929 or contact the House of Compassion.

The meeting continued with a time and date set for the next garage sale pickup, and plans for mowing on July 24 at West End Park. The next regular meeting is July 26 at O’Hungry’s, Kent told the club we would be learning about being Safe at Home.


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