Students passed through the MUC Plaza on Thursday, Sept. 17 and saw something out of the ordinary. A red double-decker bus parked on the street with signs to fill a bucket with clothes for $5 to benefit orphaned children were displayed.
The Red Bus Project is a double-decker mobile thrift store bringing orphan awareness to college students nationally and is the college based sector of Show Hope, a non-profit organization focused on caring for orphaned children.
APSU’s Baptist Collegiate Ministry has sponsored the arrival of the Red Bus Project to campus for the past two years. APSU was the first stop on the Red Bus’ college tour this semester to visit 25 universities in multiple states including Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas during Fall 2015.
Chris Wheeler, director of student initiatives for Show Hope, spoke about the goal of The Red Bus Project.
“It exists to care for orphans by developing student leaders to develop communities,” Wheeler said. “We’re providing college students with opportunities to engage in orphan care right now while still in school.”
Students were able to purchase second-hand items from the bus itself, Red Bus Project T-shirts and had the opportunity to fill a metal bucket with clothes for $5.
“The funds raised at the mobile thrift store go toward making college students aware every 18 seconds a child becomes an orphan somewhere in the world,” Wheeler said.
The Red Bus Project has three employees and takes on five interns each semester to travel with them around the nation and help teach youth about international orphans.
According to redbusproject.org, “The Red Bus Project launched in spring of 2012 and, since then, thousands of students from more than 60 colleges have contributed nearly $50,000 to help support orphan care advocacy and provide care for the children.”
It was founded by Christian recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman 11 years ago. The Red Bus Project and other programs by Show Hope help provide money to post-adoptive families.
According to showhope.org, “Show Hope has helped provide forever homes through Adoption Aid grants for more than 5,000 orphans from more than 53 countries, including the U.S.
In addition, more than 2,000 orphans with special needs have received critically needed medical care through Show Hope’s Special Care Centers.”