Woman Starts Program for Kids at Bus Stop Near Her Church
One volunteer has started a program at her church to keep students at a bus stop away from the cold. The program has grown to 39 sixth through 12th graders.
There is a bus stop at New Haven United Methodist Church.
"One day I saw the kiddos waiting outside for the bus in the cold and thought, 'Hmm, that's something I can do'!" said New Haven churchgoer, Paula Fox.
Fox is OSBI-checked and certified in CPR. After receiving encouragement from a pastor's sermon about helping the community, she asked the church's permission to open its gym. Then, she asked parents at the bus stop if they would be willing to let their kids visit her new program.
She calls it the "Bus Stop Breakfast Bunch." Students visit, play basketball, study, and eat breakfast that the church provides. Fox spends at least an hour and 15 minutes Monday through Friday on her own time.
Fox said she does not think any of the students attend church at New Haven. She just wanted them to have a warm place to wait for their buses.
Students told Channel 8 their parents appreciate the ability to drop their kids off at a safe place, especially if the parents work early.
As warmer weather nears, the students are now asking Fox to continue the program through the end of the school year.
"It was just coming inside to stay warm. Now, it's evolved into so much more. Hey everyone, come eat. Hey everyone, come play basketball," said 10th grader Matthew Palmer.
Fox said she will continue the program and will potentially even schedule a few summer activities to stay in touch with the students.
Fox hopes her story inspires more people to help students.