Get non-perishable food and hometown pride ready, because Stuff the Bus is coming back to Camas and Washougal high school from noon to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10.
The event, presented by the Camas-Washougal Business Alliance, benefits the Children’s Home Society of Washington, the Inter-Faith Treasure House and the C.A.R.O.L. program.
The community is invited to join students, staff, parents and others at either Camas or Washougal high school for the third-annual event.
Attendees are asked to bring non-perishable food, cash or unopened toys during the event to help carry their hometown to victory.
For the last two years, both school districts have utilized their rivalry to see which can assist the most families in their community.
This friendly competition has ended in one win for Washougal, and one win for Camas; this is the year of the tiebreaker.
Stuff the Bus is a program that was created by the Camas-Washougal Business Alliance, made up of local business owners.
This is how Stuff the Bus works: Camas and Washougal high schools, along with their school districts and local communities, raise donations of food, toys and non-perishable items that will be distributed to local charities.
“[This] awakens and allows the kids the ability to create, to build and help the community in which they live,” CWBA Vice President Curt Denny said.
“It shows them and teaches them what can be accomplished as a whole, versus by ourselves or individually.”
The contributions are gathered through donation drives at the Camas and Washougal Safeway stores, and donation barrels at the high schools, middle schools and elementary schools.
Local businesses also donate items that are raffled, with all of the proceeds going to buy more food, toys and goods.
When asked what the most rewarding aspect of the event is, Denny said, “Watching the kids from the elementary school level all the way to the high school level, knowing what Stuff the Bus is and wanting to help fill the buses.”
After all of the donations have come in, students load them onto school buses from each district.
These buses are then weighed in order to determine the winning district. This year, the district that increases the weight of its donations by the highest percentage will win the competition.
Last year, the students raised a combined total of 72,000 pounds of food and non-perishable items.
For the first time ever, the official weigh-in will be an open event, to honor the students’ hard work and to celebrate with the community, CWBA organizers said.
At the weigh-in, CWBA members will speak to the community about the importance of the event, and attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from students.
The celebration begins on Friday, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m. at Washougal’s Exterior Wood. Parking will be available in the Bi-Mart parking lot next door, 3003 Addy St.
There will be refreshments, music, and Santa may stop in for a visit. Other sponsors include Burgerville, Z100, 105.9 The Brew, and WiLD 107.5.
For more information, browse www.cwbusinessalliance.com.