The bus was stuffed with school supplies on Sunday.
Almost 7,000 individual school supplies were loaded on an Ocean State Transit school bus parked at Abundant Life Assembly of God church on the Barrington/Swansea line.
Loading the supplies started at 1 pm after a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. It ended the “Stuff the Bus” campaign to benefit TAP-IN (Touch a Person In Need) in Barrington and the nonprofit’s 400 clients all over the East Bay.
“We stuffed the bus, believe it or not,” said Jessica Rook, who led the campaign for the church.
The exact number of school supplies was 6,937 individual items, she said, including 180 backpacks.
“We had a great turnout of volunteers,” Rook said. “It was pretty cool. We stuffed the bus with a fire line. It took about 30 minutes.”
“It was overwhelming,” said Ann Wood, a co-president of TAP-IN, about the effort made by the church to benefit TAP-IN and the event to load the bus. “Young and old, they got behind the project. They were so enthusiastic. It was such a positive event.”
TAP-IN usually get about 50 bags of school supplies to hand out to its clients, Wood said, and often runs out. Not this year.
The school supplies actually are being handed out already at TAP-IN’s offices in the lower level of the Peck Center in Barrington. The church is providing volunteers to hand out the school supplies as well, Wood said.
“We didn’t want to just drop off the supplies,” said Rook. “We didn’t want to disrupt their usual operation. So we’re providing volunteers as well.”
The church partnered with TD Bank, which provided bags for the school supplies, and the bus company, which parked the bus at the church for a couple of weeks.
Rook said the “Stuff the Bus” campaign was so successful that the church plans to do it again next year.