On Friday, Nov. 9, the Achieving with Integrity Club hosted its second annual Joel Barlow High School Stuff a Bus for the Troops event. Students, groups and volunteers from both Easton and Redding donated a wide variety of items, aiming to fill a bus with charitable items for our men and women in uniform. Hence the name, “Stuff a Bus.”
Many from the Barlow community and Easton/Redding organizations contributed to the cause. The PTSA, for example, donated $100 worth of supplies. Cub Scout Pack 118 with the help of Venturing Crew 777 delivered boxes filled with toiletries, food and more. Friends from the Mark Twain Library contributed to the cause as well. The Redding Easton Boys & Girls Club helped to promote the event at John Read Middle School and collected items of their own.
Aside from decorating the bus with American flags and patriotic colors, and helping to organize the event (with the guidance of club adviser Karen Sullivan), the AWIClub also ran its own in-school collection, placing donation boxes throughout JBHS. On Election Day, many people brought items to the Redding Community Center while voting; and in Easton, students honored Lt. Russell Neary by bringing in items as well. Over 55 boxes of supplies were collected in total. Considering that Hurricane Sandy struck just last week, preventing many possible contributors from donating, most participants are happy with the turnout.
At around 2:07 p.m., when school let out at Barlow, the loading began. Members from AWIC and the REBGC Torch Club gathered at the pickup loop facing Barlow’s front doors. The two groups, with parent and student volunteers, proceeded to carry donations up the stairs of the bus provided by DATCO.
Once the bus was loaded, a few volunteers boarded, and departed for the give2thetroops drop-off location at the Fairfield police station on Reef Road. A baked-goods sale run by AWIClub and personal donations brought $338 to help defray the cost of shipping the supplies to our deployed troops.
All in all, we were pleased with the outpouring of volunteers and donations considering the devastation our community just witnessed in the past couple of weeks. We want our troops to know we support and appreciate all they do for our country.