Volunteers cheered “West Side is the best side!” as donors dropped off school supplies at collection tents outside of Walmart for WBRZ’s Stuff the Bus Campaign on Wednesday, July 12, in Port Allen.
The third annual campaign on the West Side raised more than $40,000 worth of school supplies to benefit children in the community, WBRZ Director of Marketing Noah Kozinko said in a release. The campaign assists parents and teachers in local school districts by providing the school supplies that children need in order to succeed.
All items collected are for the East Baton Rouge and West Baton Rouge school districts, Kozinko said.
Last year’s campaign was so successful, students who lost everything in the flood were fully stocked for school with items still left over for this year, WBRZ marketing writer Ezra Winters said.
Volunteers were out at 6 a.m. to collect donations and braved the near 100-degree heat until 6 p.m.
Donors included students in the parish, people visiting West Baton Rouge Parish for work and neighbors from across the river.
Every donation was followed by a thank you, cheer or clap from volunteers.
Community Coffee and Raising Cane’s helped by providing food and beverages for donors and volunteers in West Baton Rouge Parish, volunteer leader and School Board member Rose Roche said.
“The groups and volunteers have been fabulous,” Roche said while sorting through school supplies.
The drive is another avenue for Raising Cane’s to support local schools in the capital region, said Lane Gabriel downtown Baton Rouge Cane’s general manager.
“Wherever our brand is, it carries weight – not to mention we’re giving away lemonade,” he said in the heat of the afternoon. “We provide a lot of support for schools and education. Next year we want to do it bigger and better.”
Supplies will be distributed directly to students on Saturday, July 29, at the West Baton Rouge Community Center from noon to 4 p.m.
WBRZ’s Stuff the Bus was sponsored by Lake After Hours Urgent Care, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, CC’s in Port Allen, Peak Performance and Dudley DeBosier Injury, Lawyers Kozinko said.
Pictured above: WBRZ news anchor Brittany Weiss, center, goes on air at the Port Allen Walmart with the staff of the downtown Baton Rouge Cane’s crew, who provided food for school volunteers and refreshments for Stuff the Bus donors. From left to right: Isaiah Habor, Weiss, Cody Bourgeois, downtown Cane’s General Manager Lane Gabriel, Brittany Garnett Borell and Robert Kely.
Photos by Quinn Welsch/The West Side Journal