PANAMA CITY, Fla (WMBB) — It’s never too early to celebrate the holidays, especially if it’s for a good cause.
A local organization brought their holiday cheer to the Farmers Market on Saturday.
Stuff The Bus Toy Drive pulled up to the Farmers Market to start collecting toys and donations a little early this year.
Stuff The Bus Founder Skip Bondur started the toy drive in hopes of saving Christmas for children in Bay County, and so far they’ve done just that.
The bus campaign started in 2012 and so far they’ve collected more than 120,000 toys over the last nine years. In addition to that, each year the organization has been able to collect 10,000 toys, 10,000 pounds of food, and 1,000 pairs of shoes for children in the community.
“We think Christmas year-round and for the last 10 years we’ve been helping save Christmas for the kids right here in our community,” said Bondur.
Bill Davenport, manager of the Farmers Market, wanted to start Christmas in July and had the idea to ask Stuff The Bus to join the other vendors.
“We thought what better way than to reach out to Skip with stuff the bus and try to rally up donations a little earlier in the year to be able to ensure kids wake up without not having a present,” Davenport said.
Every donation made was matched dollar for dollar by First Choice Physical Therapy.
“There’s over 4,000 kids at least last year that needed a present for Christmas so that’s a lot of kids in just Bay County alone so Skip is a vital part of many organizations here locally,” Davenport said.
Stuff The Bus will also be at the Market on the Meadows on Tuesday to take donations. For information on how to donate visit here.