The cold and the rain last Saturday couldn’t stop the warm hearted folks of Coos County from donating thousands of pounds of food and toys to the 16th annual Bus Jam event.
Bus Jam is an event that happens every year on the first Saturday in December, at local Bi-Mart locations. The event is coordinated by local radio station K-DOCK and the Rotary club to provide food and toys to less fortunate families in the area for the holidays.
“I’ve been doing this event with K-DOCK for 10 years and I really enjoy making sure that kids in the area who are in need have a Christmas,” Mike “the Bear” Chavez Operations manager at K-DOCK said.
In its first year the Bus Jam toy and food drive gathered 16,000 pounds of food for the community. Every year since they’ve seen those numbers increase, with last year’s haul being over 60,000 pounds of food and over 15,000 toys.
“We’ve served thousands of children and have collected and distributed back into the community over quarter of a million pounds of food,” K-DOCK general manager Stephanie Kilmer said.
Kilmer has been a part of every Bus Jam event since its inception back in 2001.
“When you have people standing in a torrential downpour and they’re not worried about the rain, they’re just worried about making sure that people feel welcomed and comfortable that’s really special,” Kilmer said.
After the collection event, Rotary Club members unload the busses and sorts out the contents for the distribution event which will be happening this coming Saturday.
“People in need can still sign up through Dec. 6 at busjam.org … It’s over at the labor center on Newmark. They start lining up at 3 a.m.,” Chavez said.