The buses were stuffed to the brim with care

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For weeks, students from Camas and Washougal high school ran themselves ragged as they promoted, fund-raised and collected donations for the Stuff the Bus food drive.

The teens braved the cold, wind and rain as they manned booths in front of grocery stores and at local community events, waved publicity banners, and asked for monetary contributions. They traveled to area grocery stores to buy thousands of dollars worth of canned goods. They got up at the crack of dawn to promote this worthy cause at a regional level. And on that final day Dec. 10, they packed and loaded the pile of donations onto bright yellow school buses for the final weigh in.

Inspired by the friendly rivalry that exists between the Papermakers and the Panthers, the kids who were part of this project showed a great amount of spirit and commitment to the cause. This dedication was evidenced by the more than 71,000 pounds of food and toys collected that will go to local residents in need this holiday season and throughout the year.

In the end, it was the Papermakers who won the competition by bringing in an incredible 40,240 pounds of donated items. The Panthers’ efforts this year brought in 30,980 pounds. This program, relatively new to the local area, was created by the Camas-Washougal Business Alliance and was an immediate success.

Each and every one of the kids and adults involved in this endeavor should feel proud for what has been accomplished. The positive impacts will be felt in many different ways during this holiday season and beyond.