Wichita bus drivers deliver Thanksgiving meals to students in need

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(KAKE) -

Students may be out of school for the week, but Wichita bus drivers are going on a route with a special delivery: Thanksgiving meals.

Staff and drivers knew there was a need for the students, so they’ve been collecting items in the past two weeks. The food donations and money will go to 10 students and their families for the holiday. Together, they raised more than $1,000 worth of goods to help relieve families they’ve “adopted,” said Renee Boydo, the training center manager.

“The school bus is really an extension of the classroom and our drivers really love the fact that they get to be a part of these kids lives,” Boydo said. “They wanted to be able to do more. They can’t give out stuff on the bus during the school year, so being able to have an opportunity to help the kids was really important to them.”

Boydo said drivers develop a strong bond with the 17,000 students they bus every day. First Student contacted social workers at every Wichita school to see who could use the help the most.

“We had some drivers that were extremely generous, giving up to $200 a piece just to make sure the kids had everything that they needed for the holidays,” she said.

The first-time drive turned out larger than anticipated. Drivers will deliver a 15-pound turkey, vegetables, sides and kitchen staples like eggs, milk and butter. Students will also get a hat and pair of gloves. The families will also get a grocery gift card to help them through the holidays.

Boydo said she hopes to continue with another drive to help other families during Christmas.

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