Edwardsburg Hope UMC hosting Stuff a Bus fundraiser

Published 9:05 am Friday, November 26, 2021

EDWARDSBURG — Next weekend, one local church is aiming to fill a bus full of donations for families in need this holiday season.

Edwardsburg Hope United Methodist Church will host its annual Stuff a Bus campaign from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 4. During the event, the church will be collecting food, toys, blankets (twin, full, queen sizes) and $10 gift cards to local stores/restaurants. Everything collected will benefit the Edwardsburg Food Pantry. The collection will take place in the Dollar General parking lot, 69199 M-62, Marathon gas station, 26404 US-12, and Dr. A’s Releaf Center, 26324 US-12.

“This is a way to help restock the pantry after the Thanksgiving baskets go out, as well as give toys and new blankets as well as gift cards or teens for [the pantry’s] Christmas distribution,” said event organizer Dawn Weingart, who estimated the church has been hosting Stuff a Bus for nearly 15 years.  “This is always really well supported by the community. Edwardsburg Public Schools lets us use a bus for collection, and the local businesses let us use their parking lots.”

In years past, the campaign has raised between $1,500 and $2,500 in addition to a nearly full bus of donations. Weingart is hoping for a high volume of donations this year, as she is anticipating an increased need due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“They have seen an uptick in usage at the food pantry, and they also help with utility bills there, and they are seeing an increase need there as well with some of the federal programs expiring,” she said.

Weingart said she would encourage the community to turn out again this year to make UMC’s Stuff a Bus collection another success.

“It’s a way to reach out into the community and help those in need,” she said. “For me, it’s the beginning of the Christmas season. I get to start the season outside doing something for someone else rather than getting caught up in shopping. It gets me in the right mindset for the season, and helps out other people.”

To help make sure the event runs smoothly, Hope UMC is currently seeking volunteers to assist with collection. To volunteer, message Hope of Edwardsburg on Facebook.