What an experience Stuffing the Bus!

 Yesterday was our 2012 Campaign kickoff, "Stuff the Bus"! We've been anticipating this in our office for quite some time. With two previous events under our belt, we were prepared but still nervous.

We rolled up to WDWS-WHMS-WUIL at 6:15 to set up, and before we knew it cars were pulling in to donate. We had quite the crew of early risers out volunteering by our side!

The morning went quickly, with stops at Martin Hood Friese & Associates, Cozad Asset Management, amdocs, Worden-Martin Ford City, McGladrey & Pullen, and Research Park - EnterpriseWorks all before 10:30! Research Park collected over 350 flash drives.

We picked up a new crew of Celebrity Bus Riders and made a bank run: First Federal Savings Bank, First Financial Bank, and Busey Bank before taking a rest at Christie Clinic for a few hours. Christie was a blast - the employees were cooking out and our community drop off was rockin' with the help of Mix 94.5!

After our lunch break, we ventured out to our warehouse space (kudos News-Gazette!) to unload with the help of cadets from Lincoln's Challenge. Many hands make light work, and we were off to Human Kinetics!

Our bus was quickly filled by 450lbs of soap from HK, and 200lbs from Provena Covenant. The News-Gazette loaded us up with 20 boxes of copy paper - that's 200 reams, or 100,000 sheets of paper (for those who are keeping track). The City of Urbana was a new, fun stop this year, followed by our second Busey Bank stop of the day. Meyer Capel brought a big crew to help load up the bus, and we were surprised at United Way by a large collection from UW staff members. Our very last business stop was County Market.

WCIA was hot but fun! We camped out in the back parking lot on Randolph and had a blast with Heather & Drew of ciLiving.tv. Check out our Diaper Dash and Stacking Contest - you will laugh! Some of our partner agencies were able to be interviewed - we love seeing their hard work highlighted. One of the best moments of the day was a grandfather and grandson who drove up with $115 worth of toilet paper - truly teaching the next generation the importance of giving.

It was a relief to get into the A/C at Jupiter's at the Crossing! Our final collection site was packed with Emerging Community Leaders and many people driving by to donate after work. After filling our tummies with delicious pizza, we had one last unload to tackle. Luckily the ECL class members made it easy on us - their energy was the boost we needed to power through.

The warehouse is full and distribution began at 1:00 today (Thursday). It's hard to believe that these items, which took a week to collect and 12 hours to "Stuff", were nearly all out into the community within 45 minutes!

Thank you to everyone who participated in Stuff the Bus, especially to the nearly 75 volunteers who joined us staff throughout the day. This event was so much fun. We can't wait to take this positive energy into the campaigns - which are kicking off in droves over the next few months!