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“Stuff The Bus” Optimist Club Of Riverside
Story and photos by Victoria Rose
On Saturday, August 28, 2021, the Optimist Club of Riverside partnered with Reaching for the Stars Optimist Club of Windsor and Essex County to host ‘Stuff the Bus’, an annual drive to collect school supplies like backpacks and lunch bags to distribute to area schools. The event took place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Average Joes Sports Bar, 1286 Lauzon Road in Windsor.
“We had a great turnout,” says Heather Court-Roehler, President, Optimist Club of Riverside. “We are thankful to all of our volunteers and donors who wanted to give back to the kids and the community.”
Reaching for the Stars President, Melissa Nespolon, also spoke to the need that the current climate has created: “Our members participated in the June 27 Miracle Food Drive and we heard so many moving stories of what families were dealing with. We wanted to do something more to help.”
Nespolon explains that as a newly formed club, her members are eager to learn from longstanding clubs like Riverside and were eager to collaborate on an event that would cover a vast area in the community. The hundreds of backpacks and other supplies collected filled the bus seats and were then divided to be distributed to Riverside-area schools, as well as to support a few county initiatives.
Items collected included school supplies like backpacks, lunch bags, notebooks, pens and snacks such as pudding cups, fruit snacks, granola bars and more.
A big boost to the collection came from the owner of Windsor Tent & Awning who donated $2,000 worth of supplies in memory of his late wife.
Court-Roehler hopes the donations help with some of the barriers families are facing right now. “With COVID-19, we wanted to help give students a good start to the school year. The generosity shown today will allow us to do that.”
Congrats to all involved in making this fundraiser a big success!