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Coos County Stuff the Busses for Families in Need this Holiday Season
Rain and a state championship football game didn’t keep people from coming out at stuffing toys and food on busses in Coos Bay, North Bend and Bandon this past weekend. Totals are still being calculated, but it appears that goals will be met for Bus Jam, the annual event that helps feed Coos Count hungry and puts a gift under the tree for hundreds of children.
The Rotary/K-DOCK Radio Bus Jam weekend started its second decade the same way it began 11 years ago, with heavy winds and rain. Bus Jam takes place the first Saturday in December at the Coos Bay and North Bend Bi-Mart Stores. This year, organizers added US Cellular as a drop site supported by the Bandon Rotary and Bandon School busses. Stephanie Kilmer, General Manager of K-DOCK Radio and Rotarian says Bandon was a great addition to the Bus Jam this year. “Thanks to many movers and shakers in that community hundreds of toys and several hundred pounds of food were added to the event totals. Plans are to add even more areas of the county next year. “The program benefits disadvantaged children and families in all areas of the county and we are pleased to have all communities participating in one way or another to help make sure we can meet the need.”
This year Southwestern Oregon Community College also added a VAN JAM to help boost food collection for the event. SWOCC food donations will add over 5000 pounds to the final totals thanks to food and cash collected on campus last week.
Thousands of pounds of food will be distributed back to communities based on percentages collected and percentages of people who receive food from food pantries in those communities. Lakeside will also receive a percentage of the food collected. With the cash donated, food collected totaled 16,000 pounds. The food has been boxed and is awaiting distribution back to communities through South Coast Food Share, a partner in the Bus Jam.
Over 2500 toys and stocking stuffers are being sorted at the Department of Human Services. Those numbers are expected to rise with donations that will trickle in for the next several days. Donations are still being accepted at K-DOCK Radio. Cash donations will also be accepted and are tax deductible through the Coos Foundation. Donations can be made during business hours at K-DOCK Radio, 3120 Broadway Avenue, North Bend. To be included in the distribution on December 15th, register at (541) 888-7037. Proof of income, residency and that children live in the home are required at the distribution.
The Bus Jam Toy and Food Drive is a project of Rotary, K-DOCK Radio, Bi-Mart and the Department of Human Services. For information, call (541) 269-0929 or like the Bus Jam Facebook page.