Thrift shop bus helps orphans

The Red Bus Project will be stationed on Fifth Street, rasing money for orphans with its thrift shop from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today.Courtesy Photo
The Red Bus Project will be stationed on Fifth Street, rasing money for orphans with its thrift shop from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today.
Courtesy Photo
By Rebecca Flannery
Staff Writer

The red double-decker bus outside of Burleson Quadrangle today won’t be giving out rides, but it will offer students an opportunity to help orphans.

From 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Red Bus Project will be stationed on Fifth Street for students to come inside and shop its thrift store inventory. The project works within a nonprofit organization called Show Hope, and is meant to raise awareness among college students for orphans around the world.

Dan Coley, senior director of programs and ministry initiatives, said the money raised helps awareness campaigns and adoption grants for the organization.

“Part of what Show Hope does is give grants to families to help with the initial cost of adoption,” Coley said. “It also helps with post adoption programs, parent training and it raises awareness of the plight of the orphan.”

Bearsforphans, an organization on campus that aims to foster a community at Baylor passionate about fundraising, supporting and serving orphans internationally, will be volunteering at the Red Bus event.

Franklin, Tenn., junior Caroline Greene, director of communications for Bearsforphans, said the group is responsible for getting the Red Bus Project approved to come to campus.

“All the money the mobile thrift store makes goes to Show Hope,” Greene said. “Bearsforphans is simply volunteering and helping to spread awareness. We’re so excited.”

When the Red Bus Project started in March 2012, Greene, a co-founder of Bearsforphans, was one of the first interns who traveled on it nationwide.

Baylor alumna Emily Chapman started the Red Bus Project. Their website states Chapman had a passion for getting other college students involved in advocating for orphans.

“She recognized the incredible impact that college students could make on behalf of children who are orphaned,” the website states.

Brooke Lyle, student initiatives program coordinator for the Red Bus Project, is traveling with the bus around the country and said the crew has been looking forward to coming to Baylor’s campus since they started the new tour on Sept. 27.

“We’re expecting it to be an awesome day,” Lyle said. “We’re all very excited to carry on what Emily started to spread the awareness of orphan care.”

Spring junior Caroline Giles, co-founder of Bearsforphans, said students are free to come on the bus and shop during the day as well as bring gently used clothes to donate.

Coley said the bus was transported to the U.S. from England and refurbished into a fully-functional thrift store. Since its inaugural trip in 2012, thousands of students from more than 60 colleges have contributed nearly $50,000 to help support orphans.

The Red Bus has traveled to 12 college campuses in four different states prior to coming to Baylor.