Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Stuff the Bus 2023 toy and gift drive benefits 1,500 homeless Caddo Parish students

by BIZ Magazine

Each year at Christmas, SporTran and Healthy Blue Louisiana, title sponsor of the annual “Stuff the Bus Toy & Gift Drive”, call on the community to help fill a city bus with toys and gifts benefiting local children. After learning the extent of the financial fragility faced by so many families in our public schools, SporTran and Healthy Blue Louisiana have joined forces with the Caddo Parish Public Schools, National Panhellenic Council – Shreveport Council, and Party with a Purpose to “Stuff the Bus” for the 1,500+ homeless students attending Caddo schools.

The public is invited to donate new, unwrapped toys and gifts now through December 10, 2023. Businesses, churches, and community groups are also encouraged to give. All items collected this year will be delivered to the Caddo Parish School Board on Tuesday, December 12, at 10:00 AM, giving the CPSB Homeless Department time to distribute the gifts before schools close for winter break.

“In a perfect world, Christmas would be joyful for everyone. So often, that’s not the case,” states SporTran CEO Dinero’ Washington. “It’s staggering to find out that over 1,500 children in our community are dealing with homelessness. Imagine trying to raise your kids and keep them in school while worrying about where you’ll sleep tonight. Christmas presents fall down the list of necessities. Along with Healthy Blue, SporTran is extremely excited to work with Caddo Parish schools, National Panhellenic Council – Shreveport Council, and School Board member Dottie Bell’s ‘Party with a Purpose’ fundraiser to gather donations for these students. 

“In addition to our sponsors, other community organizations are already preparing to help Stuff the Bus, such as Word of God Ministries. While we hope to have plenty of gifts for the younger kids, we encourage the public to remember middle and high school students as well when doing your shopping. With the community’s help, this will be our largest ‘Stuff the Bus’ toy and gift drive yet.” 

Where Do I Bring My New, Unwrapped Toy or Gift? 

Toys may be brought 

  • on any SporTran bus 
  • on any SporTran OnDemand vehicle 
  • to the SporTran Intermodal Terminal at 1237 Murphy Street 
  • to the SporTran Administration Office at 1115 Jack Wells Boulevard in Shreveport 

For large donations, SporTran’s Holiday Bus will pick up from any location in the Shreveport-Bossier area. 

Wish list ideas include puzzles, gift cards, board games, footballs, headphones, RC cars, dress-up clothes, Barbies/baby dolls, books, and more. Toys and gifts for all ages are greatly appreciated. 

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