PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The long-awaited “Stuff the Bus” toy drive event is back in Panama City, and Sunday marked the first day of the ten-day-long event.
Director Skip Bondur said the purpose of the event is simple: “It’s about everybody in the community coming together with one goal in mind, and that’s to save Christmas for the kids right here in Bay County.”
Bondur and his team have the goal to accept donations of 10,000 toys, 10,000 pounds of food, and a thousand pairs of shoes— all for kids in Bay County.
This year is special: it marks their 10th annual event, and Bondur is thrilled.
“It’s unbelievable to think that in 2012, we kicked off this campaign, and our crazy little toy drive on 23rd Street has grown to what it is,” Bondur said. “It is amazing because over the next ten days, thousands of people will come out and bring toys.”
Bondur’s role is to raise awareness by living on top of a school bus— and not coming down— until the goal is reached.
“My job’s easy, you know… I take a scissor lift to the roof of the bus, and I get a ten-day vacation, living in my rooftop cabana,” he said.
Bondur said if you’re not able to make it out to the event this year, there are other ways to help out.
Their mission of stuffing the bus is year-round.
“We fill it throughout the year with different things: toys, food and diapers for kids,” Bondur said. “The goal is just to engage the community and help, and be the hands and the feet of Jesus.”
The bus is located in the Walmart parking lot on 23rd Street. It is open 24 hours a day for donation drop-off.