Stuff the bus from The Meadville Tribune on Vimeo.
VERNON TOWNSHIP — Dorothy Adamcik donates because she’s known need herself.
“I’ve been there,” Adamcik said of why she and her daughter, Julie, donated bottled water to Friday’s Stuff the Bus project. “I try to help because I’ve needed help.”
The third annual Stuff the Bus event benefits local non-profit organizations that aid and strengthen the local community. Agencies helped include Center for Family Services, Women’s Services Inc., Big Brothers and Sisters, Hospice, Meadville Area Free Clinic, Meadville YWCA and others.
Volunteers collect goods — ranging from bottled water to toiletries to personal care items, clothing, arts and crafts supplies, office supplies — and cash donations.
Stuff the Bus is organized by Children and Youth AmeriCorps VISTA Project of Northwest Pennsylvania in honor of the Martin Luther King holiday. Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act in 1994, designating the holiday as a national day of volunteer service.
Colin Hurley, local VISTA leader, said some $490 in cash and about $1,550 in goods donations were collected Friday outside of the Meadville area Wal-Mart in Vernon Township. Those numbers were above the $350 collected in 2008 and what was collected in goods donations in 2008
Friday’s mild weather helped immensely, Hurley said.
“It was the best we’ve had in three weeks,” Hurley said. “We had a constant stream of donations.”
Debbie White of Saegertown was among those dropping off items, contributing water colors and pads of sticky notes.
White said she and her husband, Steve, always try to do what they can to help others.
“It’s the thing to do,” said White. “The non-profits need help. If we have a couple of extra bucks, we want to help.”
Susan Bath of Meadville donated 20 pairs of socks because she could.
“I don’t like being cold,” she said. “I’m thinking of the little kids. I don’t want kids not to have socks on their feet.”
Those who made donations Friday were invited to attend a free spaghetti dinner, raffle and children’s carnival today. Many area businesses donated to the dinner, Hurley said. It’s a way to repay people and allow them to connect with the agencies they’ve supported, he said.
For Adamcik, she says donating not only helps others, but herself, too.
“It gives me a good feeling,” she said of giving back.
YOU CAN HELP
If you missed the “Stuff the Bus” drop-off donation Friday in Meadville, the event will continue today in Titusville. (See story on Page A9). Or contact Colin Hurley of AmeriCorps VISTA at the Allegheny College Community Service Office at 332-5318.
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