FLORENCE, Ala. — Monday morning, Florence City Schools employees sorted and separated toys and gifts to get them ready for distribution.
Every single gift was donated during Singing River Media Group’s Stuff the Bus toy drive. Radio host Hunter Jackson lived on board the bus for fourteen days until he was able to meet his goal of 3,000 toys.
“This was a long time, longer than I expected, but to reach a goal like this, sometimes that’s what it takes,” Jackson said.
Toys from the drive are sorted by age and distributed to families in each school district in Lauderdale, Colbert, and Franklin counties.
Jackson said because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need was even greater this year.
“We knew it would be more difficult so my mindset was still in a place that I didn’t expect us to necessarily exceed, but if we shot high enough we would make a great impact—and we did,” Jackson said.
That impact spread beyond just the toys thanks to the generosity of one Shoals business.
“We also have Christmas trees that have been donated this year from Rudy’s Farm,” Jackson said. They connected with us on the next to last day and told us they wanted to play a part and they donated over 40 Christmas trees to families who, couldn’t afford gifts, probably wouldn’t be able to afford Christmas trees.”
While this year’s drive may be over, Jackson said anyone who still feels led to donate can connect with the Florence City Schools central office.
Jackson said he will continue the drive in 2021, however, he’s increasing his goal to 5,000 toys.