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Stuff the bus helps needy

Between bites of pancakes soaked in maple syrup, kids at the annual Kiwanis pancake breakfast expressed excitement about returning to school.”Uhhh,” moaned Skylar Ebeler as he rolled his head backward.How kids really feel about school will always remain a mystery.Whether the moaning and groaning is an act for peers or sincere, trading in the lazy days of summer for stuffy classrooms and homework can be a downer. But while some kids dwell on their lost freedom, others worry about how they’re going to afford school supplies.For many families in the valley, buying school supplies means sacrificing life’s necessities.”There are families out there who will buy school supplies before paying the rent,” said Sandi Anderson, president of Glenwood’s morning Kiwanis club. “We really want them to know there’s somewhere for them to come for assistance in a low-key approach. A place where they won’t feel singled out.”For the rest of the month, the Roaring Fork Kiwanis Club of Glenwood and the Roaring Fork School District transportation department will collect new and used school supplies for the Stuff the Bus fund-raiser.School buses will sit in the parking lot at the Glenwood Springs mall, Wal-Mart and City Market to collect new and used school supplies. Before school starts on Aug. 31, the supplies will be distributed to families who can’t afford supplies, Anderson said.The range of supplies needed for the school year is broad. Pencils, notebooks, clip boards, rubber bands and water bottles are only the beginning of the list.Families who need supplies can contact secretaries at any of the schools, Anderson said.Last year, Stuff the Bus helped 100 students, Anderson said. This year, Kiwanis and Re-1 hope to help 150 kids.”We have such a wonderfully receptive community to help us get what we need,” Anderson said.Larry Estrada, who works for the Re-1 Transportation Department, and his wife, Cindy, who also works for Re-1, started Stuff the Bus last year. Estrada modeled the program off one he saw in Grand Junction.”Larry and his love for children is what got this program started,” Anderson said. “He and his wife are just fabulous people.” Contact Ivy Vogel: 945-8515, ext. 534ivogel@postindependent.com


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