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Red Bus Project back on campus

Mary E. Hinds maryhinds@lebanondemocrat.com • Updated Jul 26, 2013 at 10:05 PM

The big red bus was back on Cumberland University's campus Tuesday.

The double decker was accompanied by hip music and young people making a difference. The bus is a mobile thrift store filled with students looking for bargains.

The bus is part of Show Hope, a non-profit organization that works to meet the most pressing needs of orphans in distress by providing homes for waiting children through adoption aid grants, and by providing life-saving medical care for orphans with special needs. The local chapter is based in Franklin.

"We've gotten lots of great donations from CU students," said Chris Wheeler, Show Hope's director of Student Initiatives, who was with the bus at CU. "College students can donate clothes, shop and at the same time make a difference. They are able to engage with the orphan crisis while doing something they already love to do – thrift store shopping."

He explained the bus travels from college to college, collecting donated clothes and then sells them there or at the bus' next destination while spreading awareness about the needs of orphans and raising money for orphan care. At every stop, students get bargains and help out.

"We brought a 10-member crew, and we've have a host of volunteers from campus," Wheeler said.

Rod Huff, a coordinator of the Red Bus Project, said the efforts are a perfect fit for college students.

"They don't have a lot of money, but they have things," he said.

Show Hope mobilized students to use their stuff to help orphans, by starting the rolling thrift store from which the proceeds would benefit orphan care and adoption advocacy efforts. Students can donate their stuff or simply shop.

Cumberland freshmen Tasha Woods, Kelsie Barnes and Nicole Beckloff were on the bus looking for bargains, while other students looked over items staged around the bus.

"The amount of funds raised today will be used for orphan care around the world," Wheeler said.

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