OES ‘Fill the Bus’ campaign packs nearly 7,000 food items into R-2 bus for Operation Christmas 2019

By Dave Marner, Managing Editor
Posted 12/4/19

If anyone was wondering how many canned or boxed food items it takes to fill the seats and isle space of a standard sized school bus it’s right around 7,000.

That’s what Owensville Elementary …

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OES ‘Fill the Bus’ campaign packs nearly 7,000 food items into R-2 bus for Operation Christmas 2019

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If anyone was wondering how many canned or boxed food items it takes to fill the seats and isle space of a standard sized school bus it’s right around 7,000.

That’s what Owensville Elementary School students collected this past month for their “Fill the Bus” challenge to support Operation Christmas. Kayla Lowder’s second-graders will receive the newly designated “Dutchmen Way” trophy for donating 1,655 items. Along with non-perishable food items, students also collect personal care items.

Lowder’s students will also select between one of their principals, Dr. Scott Davidson or Trisha Ridder, their counselor Jessica Jennings, or their school resource officer, Owensville policeman Brenn Finley, for the opportunity to “pie them in the face before we go on Christmas break, according to the school’s secretary, Crystal Blankenship.

“Our total count right now is approximately 6,944 but we’ve still been having items brought in so that will increase,” Blankenship reported as of Monday after their lead custodian, PeeWee Howard, delivered the load to the Helping Hands Outreach Center of Gasconade County.

Howard and several students had to climb over the boxes of food stocks to exit the bus as the isle and seats filled from both the front and rear doors of the bus.

Howard joked that a few loose cans, which found their way to the floor during the load-in, could be heard rattling around as she transported the load across town to the HHOC building.

“We’re definitely filling the bus,” said OES student Cheyenne Myeburger as she loaded items in from the front of the bus.

Earlier on Monday, HHOC volunteers picked up a trailer full of food stocks collected by Owensville Middle School students. A final count of items was not available at deadline on Tuesday evening.

On Monday evening, 60 area volunteers gathered at HHOC and spent an hour and 50 minutes sorting and stacking the items donated from the schools, local churches and the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from their Scouting for Food campaign in November.

Final sorting on Saturday

Operation Christmas preparations continue later this week with a final sorting of food stocks scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Helping Hands Outreach Center of Gasconade County’s new Kosark Road facility.

Anyone with family adoption gifts remaining to contribute should bring them to the HHOC building between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday.

From 7 to 10 a.m. Dec. 7, Masonic Lodge No. 624 A.F. & A.M. in Owensville hosts a breakfast with Santa event featuring their all you can eat menu of pancakes, sausage, and scrambled eggs. Kids should ask for the special “Santa” pancakes. Proceeds from the event help support Operation Christmas.

Owensville High School’s FFA chapter and members of the school’s vocal music program are scheduled to pack food boxes throughout the day on Wednesday, Dec. 11.

The gift-wrapping crew will also be busy that morning as donated items are prepared for two distribution sessions starting at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13. Food boxes and gift bags may be picked up between 2 and 6 p.m. Dec. 13 and from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday Dec. 14.

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