Police fill a bus with donations for Hurricane Harvey victims

By Douglas McCulloch | Sep 09, 2017
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch Haley Jenkins finds a place for a pack of bottled water.

Five hours after Dartmouth police opened donations for a Fill-a-Bus donation campaign, every bus seat was stuffed with bottled water, human and pet food, and other necessities bound for Texas.

Dartmouth police, along with New Bedford, Fairhaven, and Acushnet police and Tremblay’s Bus Company, joined together to host the donation drive to collect supplies for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The donation drive was spearheaded by Jerry Pinto, who runs the New Bedford-based Safe Zones anti-bullying program. He unites the departments and Tremblay’s for a holiday toy drive every year, and decided to organize his first disaster relief drive on September 9.

“As soon as we heard what the cause was for we hopped on board,” said Dartmouth Police Det. Kyle Costa, who helped collect donations.

Costa added that community support has been overwhelming, as cars pulled into the parking lot almost immediately to drop off everything from bags of hygiene products to 40-plus cases of water.

Eleven-year-old Haley Jenkins arrived with cases of water she carried herself onto the bus.

“We want to help people that don’t have anything,” she said as she set a case of water down on a bus seat.

When Carol Danso drove by the New Bedford Police Department’s Fill-the-Bus setup at their police station, she immediately went shopping for water and candy for kids. While she was shopping at Rite-Aid, she learned Dartmouth police were also collecting supplies, so she bought two sets of donations for each site.

It wasn’t just human supplies that were collected. Tara Sherman brought bags of dog and cat food to donate.

“Cats, dogs, and the animals need our help too,” she said as she helped load a bag of dog food.

Dartmouth Police Det. Kyle Costa loads a case of bottled water onto the bus. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Just four hours into the drive, many seats were already filled. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
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