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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

'Fill the Bus' effort works on new goal

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Randy Neeley and wife Lauri stand next to the bus being used for the Fill the Bus campaign. As of Wednesday morning, the bus has been packed with about 1,000 pounds of food. [Order this photo]
ROACHDALE -- Last year, Randy Neeley, chief mechanic for the North Putnam School Corporation, launched the "Fill the Bus" campaign.

The purpose of the event was to fill a school bus with non-perishable foods to donate to local food shelters.

And because of the success of last year's campaign, Neeley said he would like to do it again. But bigger this time.

Last year, Neeley donated to three food shelters -- Bainbridge Christian Church, Roachdale Christian Church and Russellville Church. This year, Neeley would like to donate to a fourth shelter and increase the donated amount from last year's 7,500 pounds to 10,000 pounds.

"They can make a difference," Neeley said.

The campaign began on Sept. 12, and Neeley has collected roughly 1,000 pounds so far. The campaign also accepts cash or check donations, with checks being made out to the Fill the Bus campaign, as well as contributions from parents and community members as well as students.

"We have a little elementary school kid that hands the driver a quarter every day (for the campaign)," Neeley said. "We have a lot of students like that."

The corporation's schools are raising the food and supplies for the campaign as well using more competitive methods. Bainbridge Elementary holds class contests to try to reward the classes that bring in the most food for the bus.

The bus used for the campaign, which is decorated with a Fill the Bus banner, is also brought to different school events, including football games. Other schools also host competitions and games to raise more donations for the campaign.

Businesses are making donations as well. Walmart Distribution Center has donated a trailer for Neeley to hold some food in until he fully fills the bus, and Neeley said he has received donations from other local businesses.

Neeley said he hopes to involve the towns of Bainbridge and Roachdale in the future, as well as other schools in the county. Neeley said anyone can contribute in an event like this, and he hopes to meet his larger goal this year.

Those who wish to make a donation of food or toiletries can bring the items to any school office during regular school hours. They can also bring the items to the administration office, 300 N. Washington St. in Bainbridge, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

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Given everything that Randy and Lauri have been through with Randy's health not only the past year or so, but over the past several years, they are to be commended for this effort. It truly shows their character and commitment to serving their community. Thanks for the effort !!

-- Posted by rosco&ginger on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, at 11:12 AM

Let's help him fill two buses!

-- Posted by NPparent on Sat, Oct 8, 2011, at 12:42 AM

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