By Rachel Leland, Reporter
The bright, red double-decker of the Red Bus Project has returned to Baylor University yesterday to raise awareness for the needs of orphans.
The Red Bus Project staff and interns partnered with Bears for Orphans, their host and campus contact, to hold a clothing drive for the Red Bus Project which is the student initiative of Steven Curtis Chapman’s organization, Show Hope, an orphan’s advocacy group.
Show Hope strives to improve the lives of orphans from around the world, primarily by sponsoring adoptions through adoption aid financial grants. Because international adoptions can cost up to $45,000, programs like these are critical in helping to place orphans with families.
Chapman’s daughter and Baylor alumna, Emily Chapman, recognized the desire college students had for helping orphans during her time at Baylor. Emily worked with her brother Caleb Chapman and Chris Wheeler, Show Hope’s Director of Student Initiatives to create the Red Bus Project.
The organization purchased an iconic red double-decker bus from England and began touring college campuses across the country, collecting clothing and accessory donations as they went.
“We come to college campuses and use the bus as a tool to tell students that you can get involved and care for orphans,” Brook Lyle, Student Initiatives Program Director said.
Each time the bus goes to a new school, they sell the clothing they got at other schools, all the while raising awareness for the important work that Show Hope does.
Student interns from around the country helped to man booths and collect donations to the Red Bus Project.
This fall, The Red Bus Project began its tour in Mississippi and plans to conclude it at the organization’s headquarters in Tennessee. Baylor is somewhere near the middle on the tour’s list of 25 stops.
“The Red Bus Project started here so it’s really cool to have Baylor as a landmark on our tour,” Lyle said.
This year marks the second visit The Red Bus project has made to Baylor.
Waco junior Hannah Johns visited the red bus last year when it came to Baylor, and returned this year with her roommate, Beaumont junior Nicah Caluag.
“I thought it was really cool. I’m very interested in working in orphan care, I’m a social work major so I really think that any organization that raises funds and is dedicated to orphans is really cool,” Johns said.
Johns said she was especially impressed with Show Hope’s work with orphans in China. Johns said she was adopted from China and respects the work the organization does there.
Currently, Show Hope operates five care centers for special needs children in China. The organization provides for physician oversight, surgeries and comprehensive medical care.
There are currently 140 million orphans around the world.