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Pulaski County "Stuffs the Bus"

By Orlando Salinas, osalinas@wdbj7.com
Published On: Nov 15 2013 05:38:35 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 15 2013 10:21:10 PM EST

Today in Pulaski, a handful of volunteers met in the parking lot of a grocery store and were asking strangers for donations.

PULASKI, Va. -

Friday morning in Pulaski, a handful of volunteers met in the parking lot of the Food Lion on Memorial Drive. They began asking strangers for donations and were definitely talking turkey.

"Hello, we're doing the "Stuff the Bus" program today. You can donate a turkey or you can donate money."

Young and older were walking up to shoppers and asking for help. The effort was a lesson in success and rejection.

For the third straight year, school bus drivers, teachers and friends from Pulaski County have been collecting donations for "Stuff the Bus" so families in need can have a good Thanksgiving dinner.

Frankie Warden's been driving a school bus for 32 years.

"Well I know a lot of these kids personally and they really need it."

No matter how many times people said no, two 12-year-olds, Hope Lewis and Hannah Edwards stayed focused. Hope said she learned to get over her fear.

"Well you're really nervous but you know it's for a good cause so you're not completely frightened to do it."

After collecting donations, Sheila Brown, the coordinator for "Stuff the Bus" walking inside the Food Lion. Looking more like a momma duck leading her baby ducks. Some 5 children collecting green beans, corn, mashed potatoes and yams and then, it's time.

"We're going to get turkeys now alright you all ready?

Eventually these kids push a caravan to the checkout counter, where more than 50 big birds and everything else are paid for then loaded onto Frankie's school bus.

A few near misses until the store manager, Todd Simpson and his assistant take over. Simpson says he's been part of the community since he was a young man.

"It's a great opportunity for Food Lion to really be the advocate for the community. How's your back? It's sweaty right now. It'll be sore later? Yes but it's worth it. It's well worth it."

This years "Stuff the Bus" list has nearly 300 families. The plan is to get these meals to every single one by Saturday.