LEWISTON, Maine — A school bus driver here has started a winter clothing drive to help keep students warm during the colder months.
Ivy Corliss, a bus driver with Lewiston Public Schools, developed the idea for the clothing drive after one of her students was in tears after she had no winter gear while waiting for the school bus, Corliss wrote in the description of a Facebook group for the initiative. Corliss added that she found extra clothes for the student at her home and wanted to continue providing winter gear to other students with the help of the community and school bus drivers.
“Having extra scarves, hats, and mittens on the buses, as well as making sure the schools have boots, snow pants, scarves, hats, and gloves will help keep kids warm this winter,” she wrote.
Corliss is urging the community to donate various winter clothing items that can fit students who are in kindergarten through high school. She also said that she is teaming up with Hudson Bus Lines and school nurses at Lewiston Public Schools and Androscoggin County Public Schools to accommodate more students with winter clothing.
“My hope is to be able to extend this amazing journey and reach as many schools as possible in the state of Maine,” Corliss added. “Thank you all so very much for helping. With your help, we can spread love and warmth to so many.”
On Thursday, Corliss hosted a clothing donation drop-off at the Lewiston Mall. That same day, she also posted an update in the Facebook group stating that she will soon be working with all Maine school districts — with the help of the state Department of Education — to bring more winter gear to students in need. In the meantime, Corliss said that she plans to form a committee to develop contacts in all of the state's school districts to help coordinate and get warm winter gear to buses and schools.