Darren Doyle, story and photos
The Edmonson County Family Resource/Youth Service Center unloaded an entire truckload of school supplies at Stuff The Bus 2016 yesterday from this year's Cram The Cruiser, sponsored by Kentucky State Police. Even though there has been plenty of local coverage from the Edmonson Voice about how it all works, many Edmonson County residents are still asking, "Why are you taking our school supplies to Warren County?"
Even though the idea of donating locally gathered supplies from an Edmonson County fundraiser to an outside event seems a bit off, the huge area-wide Stuff The Bus charity event benefits an entire region, and here's how it works:
Stuff The Bus works like a successful financial investment. Counties and organizations gather school supplies at their own events, which usually bring very positive amounts. They could easily keep that and distribute the supplies within their own schools, but that amount would only be the amount raised.
With Stuff The Bus, supplies and cash are donated to the regional cause, one that's run by a ton of volunteers and bargain hunters. Those bargain hunters take the amount of cash donated and by using coupons, watching sales ads, and making timely purchases, they double and triple the amount of supplies from the organizations donated to Stuff The Bus and return a much larger investment back to the schools and organizations from where they came.
The remaining items come from tons of sponsors, businesses,individuals and families that donate to the amazing cause that netted 16.25 tons of school supplies for this year's record-setting amount.
Everything that Edmonson County volunteers donated at the Cram the Cruiser, which was sent to Stuff The Bus, will come back to Edmonson County schools in much larger amounts. If you donated a box of crayons at Cram the Cruiser, Edmonson County schools will actually end up with up to three boxes to use right here at home.
The supplies that were unloaded yesterday from KSP, State Representative Michael Lee Meredith, and Family Resouce/Youth Service Center employees and volunteers, filled up a single pickup truck bed, but what they'll bring back to our schools this week will likely fill up two vehicles and an entire van, and it's all for our kids.
So why fool with all this multiplying and divvying up? I mean, why not just have each local school do their own thing and forget it? Well, with donors from all over contributing to a collective organization, there are more options for each school in the region. Edmonson County may have received all notebooks and crayons at their individual fundraiser but might have a greater need for pencils and canned goods. With having a large bank of supplies to choose from, they can request more of what they need as an individual school system, while other schools can take advantage of the things not needed as much here.
It takes special people to figure out how to sort and distribute the supplies fairly, and hands down, its one of the best things to happen to local schools in years.
Edmonson County residents should embrace and fully support Cram the Cruiser, Stuff the Bus, and what our local volunteers do for Edmonson County kids.
The Edmonson Voice would like to publicly thank our school system and D93's Tony Rose along with all the Stuff the Bus and Cram the Cruiser staff members, volunteers, KSP, and our local law enforcement, as well as all the wonderful donors who continue to make a difference in our region and county.