Spreading the joy

Yosef Al-Emeri, Opinions Editor

February 2, 2018

    Redlands- An examination of the annual Stuff-A-Bus Toy Drive and what it seeks to accomplish this year.

    Within the Redlands community, the Redlands Unified  School District safety department annually coordinates the Stuff-A-Bus toy drive at Redlands High School during the holiday season, an event in which toy donations are placed in a bus to be donated to children.

    Last year was no exception, as the Stuff-A-Bus toy drive was put into effect once again; the outlook and manner of conduction of this event being revealed after an interview with Sgt. Daniel Felix Marmolejo, one of the main organizers of this event. With this interview, many important details have been brought forth.

    One of these important details is what the toy drive seeks to accomplish, to which Sgt. Marmolejo has stated that it is to collect donated toys from the local Redlands community and give them to unfortunate kids who are in need of them.

    This has been the general goal of the Stuff-A-Bus toy drive for the past 14 years since the drive first started at Redlands High School. For this 15th year, the ultimate goal was to reach an even higher amount of donations from the student body, staff, sports clubs, and general community; for this to have happened, donations would had to have exceeded the approximately 1800-2000 toys collected last year in 2016.

    Although the Stuff-A-Bus toy drive in 2017 did not beat this goal, it was still very successful. According to Sgt. Marmolejo, the officers were able to deliver approximately 350 toys to the Redlands Community Center for its Block Party. Additionally, nearly 4000 kids and parents attended the party on December 16, 2017.

    These large quantities of toys are only part of the full story, as throughout its entirety, the Stuff-A-Bus toy drive has collected 15,700 toys and 195 bicycles over the course of 14 years.

    These toys have provided holiday gifts to families going through rough times the opportunity to enjoy a basic aspect of the holiday spirit, thanks to both the benevolent donations to and endorsement of the Stuff-A-Bus toy drive by local community members. Although the event has already passed, anyone who missed it can always plan to catch the next Stuff-A-Bus toy drive in this year.

    Anyone can donate a toy as long as they are appropriate for infants through school age students and the collected toys will be taken to the Christmas Community Block Party for distribution on December 16 from 9 am to noon.

    Sgt. Marmolejo is very proud of the people of Redlands High School and the “great success and contribution RHS was able to contribute to many unfortunate community kids.”

    What Sgt. Marmolejo enjoys most about being part of this event is how both he along with the Department of Safety are able to experience seeing their students, staff, and community members come together and unite in helping unfortunate students to receive a gift during the holidays.

    Some say that all it takes is one gesture of goodwill to help brighten someone’s day, and the Stuff-A-Bus toy drive provides the Redlands High School student body the chance to do exactly that. This toy drive exemplifies what the saying means by, “A little kindness goes a long way.” Those involved believe that just giving one toy is more than enough to help spread the joy to everyone.

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