LIVINGSTON, NJ- In an effort to help Hurricane Sandy victims, C.H.O.W. (Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse), hosted a Stuff the Bus food drive, which delivered nonperishable items, supplies and toys for children to Atlantic City suburb, Ventnor on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Executive member and Treasurer of HCHY (Healthy Community, Healthy Youth), Alan Karpas, expressed excitement regarding the outcome of the drive.
“It is absolutely incredible how the community came together,” Karpas said. “I don’t know how to put it into words. Livingston residents should be very proud of themselves.”
Karpas told The Alternative Press that originally just one bus was scheduled for the visit, but another back up bus was needed due to the large quantity that was donated.
According to Karpas, the bus stopped at nine Livingston schools and Kushner Hebrew Academy, as well as several community businesses to collect food and supplies. Karpas said he was proud of every one of the schools that participated.
“It’s truly amazing, this has been quite an experience,” Karpas said. “For example, at Mount Pleasant Elementary School, all of the students came outside and yelled “Stuff the Bus” while bags were being loaded onto it.”
The HCHY president added that Collins Elementary created a rap song to go along with the event.
Student Government Advisor and Social Studies teacher at Livingston High School, Jennifer Alvich, joined the selected group to attend the delivery site on behalf of the high school.
Alvich said that in an effort to encourage students to donate as much as possible, the SGA coordinated a Sandy relief program in which 18 high school clubs came together to form a spirit week.
“We raised over $700 as well as filled a quarter of a bus,” Alvich said. “Each day for the week, we encouraged students by having events such as ‘Can the Principal’ where all of the canned food that students brought in for the day filled the principal’s office.”
Alvich explained that another event was that faculty would sing ‘Build Me Up, Buttercup’ for donations during lunchtime.
“It was a huge coordinated effort at the high school and it was really the first time something was done like that,” Alvich said.
She added that she wanted to come along for the delivery to see the final result.
“I wanted to come today because this was the completion of week’s worth of work,” Alvich said. “I wanted to see the ending result which is due to so many generous people from town.”
Along with Alvich, students Spencer Silverman and Jen Wu attended the trip, as well.