During the month of November, the students, staff, and faculty of Ross Medical Education Center in Port Huron, Michigan were proud to support the annual Stuff the Bus campaign. This special campaign partners with many of the area’s largest supporters: Port Huron Area School District, First Student Inc., local township offices, RadioFirst Studios, and many other Blue Water area businesses.
Each year these organizations come together for one very important cause – to help provide winter clothing and toys for children in need during the holiday season. Residents are challenged to stuff a school bus with new or gently used clothing, coats, hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, and toys. Once the bus is stuffed, all of the items will then go to local children who are in need. Donations are distributed by Kids in Distress Services (KIDS), a local non-profit organization whose main focus is providing necessary clothing, personal and hygiene items, and of course, toys for the holiday season for children and teens who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.
The Port Huron campus started their collection by placing a small cardboard bus in the lobby for all to see. The bus was filled very quickly and was eventually stuffed until it overflowed with over 50 toys, coats, and winter gear items. Amy Jacobs, a student in the Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration program, had fun picking out toys, games, and craft projects to donate. “Every child deserves a gift at Christmas,” she said. “I appreciate the opportunity to help make that happen.”
The donations were then boxed up and delivered to the Fort Gratiot Township drop off location, where Township Supervisor Jorja Baldwin greeted some of the Ross staff to personally express her appreciation. At the conclusion of the Stuff the Bus campaign, the big yellow school bus provided by First Student, Inc. made its way to the various collection sites to be stuffed with all of the wonderful toys and winter coats for local children.
Last year, KIDS helped over 17,000 children in St. Clair County and the surrounding area. They fill a need that is constant and growing in the community. Though the Stuff the Bus campaign has ended for 2018, donations can still be made to the Kids in Distress Services facility located at 1114 Saint Clair Street, Saint Clair, Michigan. Volunteers are needed as well to staff the facility and to help wash, sort, and distribute clothing. For information, please call (810) 326-4505.