While food drives seem to be most popular around the holidays, Wenonah Elementary School reminded Sachem that you don't have to wait for a holiday to make a difference. The Second Annual "Stuff a Bus" event was held Saturday afternoon to benefit Island Harvest, is the largest hunger relief organization on Long Island.
Rebecca Ryan, a social worker at Wenonah, was one of the event coordinators and said, "We raised about 2,000 pounds of food last year, and we're hoping to beat that this year."
Community members turned out all afternoon, placing their non-perishables into boxes and onto the bus. Some of the youngest Sachem residents made the biggest differences.
"The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were out this morning decorating the bus and the food boxes," Ryan said. "The whole community is participating."
As far as inspiration for the event, Ryan said, "All you see in the papers is how low the food pantries are. So I thought why not? It doesn't have to be Christmas to donate food, right?"
Though the chilly weather and intermittent rain were minor annoyances, everyone involved was too devoted to their work to notice.
"It's so much fun knowing that tonight a family will eat better because of you," one Sachem mom said.
Indeed "Stuff a Bus" was a success, as many community members climbed on the bus to put non-perishables into boxes. The rows of bus seats were lined with food, and boxes overflowed with generous donations.
"It doesn't matter how much you have to give," another coordinator said, "every can and box makes a difference."
The excited students ran onto the bus to include their donations and pointed out the bright bus decorations that they worked on. They graciously posed for pictures and were excited to know that they were making a difference.
At the conclusion of the collection, the bus was driven to a site in Holtsville in order to officially make the donation.
A sign immediately inside Wenonah Elementary's lobby informs visitors that "Success is Measured by Effort." Taking that notion into account, "Stuff a Bus" was truly a success today as the effort of the community to make a difference in the lives of others was apparent.