‘Fill the Bus’ to provide school supplies for Beavercreek tornado-impacted families

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BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – Stepping onto a bus will be the usual routine for students across Beavercreek in two weeks.  The start of school often means brand new supplies but the annual task of shopping for school supplies may be difficult for tornado impacted families.

“We want to get all our kids back. We want to keep that (school) side of their lives pretty consistent with the kids,” said Paul Otten, Superintendent at Beavercreek City Schools.

Otten and Rep. Rick Perales (R) District 73 are applauding the joint community effort to collect school supplies for tornado impacted students.

“Kids aren’t going to miss a beat. We’re just trying to get them back to normalcy. Just trying to them back to what life used to be before they lost everything,” Rep. Perales said.

New school supplies are being accepted for a big giveaway on Sunday.  The idea started at the transportation department with a few bus drivers. 

“The willingness to help. It just fills my heart. Everybody has just come out and said, what can I do? Where can I be?,” said Hannah Harris, a bus driver with the district.

Beavercreek Tornado Network, a group that started on Facebook, had their own fill-the-backpack drive going. 

“The feelings that it invoked within us, just made us want to keep doing more and doing more,” said Mechelle Rafferty, a parents in the district.

The tornado network, Beavercreek City Schools and the transportation department joined forces to be better serve students.

“The kids have been so traumatized. So, it’s just something to make them feel happy.” said Aysha Osten, a parent and member of Beavercreek Tornado Network.

Supply donations are already starting to fill one bus for students. Seeing all the support from the community brings warmth to the hearts of those involved.

“It’s brought back my trust in humanity. I just absolutely love Beavercreek and the community that we have,” Harris said.

On August 4, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., families are welcome to Shaw Elementary to pick up their free school supplies, get a free back-to-school haircut. Families can also pick up household items for free and obtain free legal help.

Click here to see a school supply list.

Click here for information on where to donate and the August 4 event.

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