KENT, N.Y. — The transportation department of a school district here joined in efforts to collect supplies for those still suffering the effects of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
Pam Richardson, a Kent resident, came up with the idea for a “Stuff the School Bus” event, and worked with Carmel Central School District, the Carmel-Kent Chamber of Commerce, Carmel Rotary Club, Putnam Hospital Center, Henry Boyd Well Drilling, and several local merchants to make it happen, according to Mid-Hudson News. Goods collected included batteries, flashlights, portable lanterns, diapers, baby wipes, cases of water, and feminine hygiene products, the news source reports.
The district’s transportation department initially donated two school buses for the event, but as more donations came in, they could no longer accommodate the amount of goods, and the school district ended up donating one more bus to the effort, Pat Payne, the supervisor of transportation for Carmel Central School District, told School Bus Fleet. Several staff members from the transportation department volunteered at the event, including three bus drivers and the supervisor of drivers and monitors, Payne added.
The donated items will be shipped to Puerto Rico this week, according to Mid-Hudson News.
The U.S. territory is still struggling with the aftereffects of Hurricane Maria nearly one month later. As of Sunday, 85% of Puerto Rico is still without power, and it won’t be completely or nearly completely restored until December, CNN reports. Additionally, residents are still struggling with a drinking water shortage, according to the news source.
Meanwhile, school districts in many states are preparing to accommodate an influx of students from Puerto Rico; only about 200 of its 1,113 schools have opened, National Public Radio reports.