Windham High School students 'Fill a Bus' with food for families

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Willimantic - posted Tue., Dec. 11, 2012
Shown sorting through donated items are (front-back): Student Council President Stephanie Quinn, volunteer Angelo Santiago, advisor Kelly Folan and John Bojorquez. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Shown sorting through donated items are (front-back): Student Council President Stephanie Quinn, volunteer Angelo Santiago, advisor Kelly Folan and John Bojorquez. Photos by Melanie Savage.

It was hard to miss the Windham High School “Fill a Bus” event on Dec. 8. The Willimantic Police Department lent the school an electronic sign, which helped to draw attention to the bright yellow bus sitting in the Jillson Square parking lot, this year’s event location. With two hours still to go, volunteers had already taken in more than 900 items. “Our goal was 1,000 items,” said Student Council President Stephanie Quinn. “We’re pretty confident we’ll get there. We’re pretty excited.”

This year, volunteers opted to sort items into boxes as they arrived. The bus, on loan from M and J Bus, was lined with boxes; nearly every seat was occupied. Each box was accompanied by a piece of paper identifying a family's characteristics, including the number of family members and their ages. “We currently have 21 families that we’re gathering food for,” said Quinn.

Names of families in need are procured through the Windham public schools’ central office. Items are gathered through the Windham High School office as well as the “Fill a Bus” event. This year, a local Montessori preschool donated items, as well. If there is a specific need, such as baby formula, that is not procured through the drive, volunteers will make sure it’s purchased. The goal is to provide food for the holidays, especially during school vacations when children will not be benefiting from school lunches.

Student volunteers look forward to helping distribute the food to families. “I think that’s the best part,” said Quinn.


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