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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Stuff the Bus gives back to the community for the 15th year

by Sylene Argent

  On Saturday, over 80 volunteers collected new, unwrapped gifts for youth of families facing economic hardships, toiletries, and canned goods through Cause for Action’s 15th annual Stuff the Bus event, which was held at the St. Clair Shores Shopping Centre.

  Julie Trepanier and her husband, Roger, began the collection a decade-and-a-half ago when they noticed, through various food banks and other organizations, there was a shortage of gifts for children over the age of ten.

  “We decided to make a difference,” she said. “There is so much community spirit around here.  Our community is so giving; it makes you stop and think about how honoured you are to live here. [This event] starts your Christmas off.”

  In addition to brightening up Christmas morning for many around the Region, the event also provided an opportunity for high school students to earn the volunteer hours required to graduate.

  Trepanier said this year’s event garnered the most volunteers to date. “I can’t get over it,” she said of the support shown.

  Typically, through donations from the community, around two buses are stuffed to the brim through the event.

  Eight organizations will benefit from the event, including the Essex Area Food Bank, Spark’s Toy Drive, Lakeshore Food Bank, Downtown Mission Soup Kitchen, Unit 7 Program for the Homeless, St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, and Hiatus House.  

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