Traveling across the country in a double-decker bus, the Red Bus Project is headed to Murray to make a difference in the lives of orphans around the world.
The British-style double-decker bus has been turned into a thrift store, where donations of clothing are available for purchase. The proceeds go to helping orphans find permanent homes.
The Red Bus Project was created by Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman’s Show Hope foundation. The mission of the project is to engage students across the country and encourage them to make a difference and give orphans a voice and a home.
Emily Bruns, a student volunteer for the Red Bus Project, said the project is giving students a chance to make a difference in the lives of others.
“(The Red Bus Project) is a good way for students to get involved and help people around the world, not just the United States,” she said.
The bus has traveled to almost 60 colleges since the project was started, and will make its way to Murray April 11 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Murray State is one of 25 schools included in the Red Bus Project’s spring tour.
More than 177,000 students across the country have already participated in the Red Bus Project, and Bruns said she hopes to see that number continue to grow after the bus stops at Murray State.
When the bus makes its stop in Murray, it will be located at the main gates of the University near the Quad. Students will be able to shop on the bus and purchase the clothing items that are donated.
More than $50,000 has been raised since the project began in 2012. These funds go toward adoption grants that are provided to families through the Show Hope foundation.
Hannah Miller, student volunteer, said students who engage in the Red Bus Project are becoming a part of something bigger than themselves.
“I believe that it is important for people to become part of these sorts of projects because it is not every day that we can help out someone else across the world,” she said. “We often think of ourselves over others, and this is a nice way to put some other people first, who would not normally be put first.”
According to the World Orphans website, there are an estimated 153,000,000 orphans worldwide.
Miller said students can help out by not only donating clothes, but by engaging with people walking past and telling them about the Red Bus on campus and spreading the word.
Clothing donations for the Red Bus can be brought to the Baptist Campus Ministry, which is located behind Elizabeth Residential College on Waldrop Drive, or to the Newman House Catholic Campus Ministry, located across from White Residential College on North 15th Street.
Bruns said through the Red Bus Project, students might find a desire to reach out and help people in ways they did not think of before.
Said Bruns: “(Students) will be able to find a passion for helping others, which will lead to them making more of a difference in the future.”
Story by Rebecca Walter, Staff writer