Community ‘Fills the Bus’ for local schools

Community ‘Fills the  Bus’ for local schoolsFormer Richmond Elementary School Teacher Mrs. “Paz” Pasztalaniec collects school supply donations from shoppers leaving Walmart on Saturday. — Photo by Laura Austin


By BRIAN COSNER, News Review Staff Writer

Local volunteers helped collect a busload of school supplies for the upcoming school year last Saturday during the annual “Fill the Bus” supply drive. Organizers gathered 611 reams of paper, 573 boxes of tissues, tens of thousands of pencils and more to donate to Sierra Sands Unified School District.

“We had another successful year with collecting school supplies,” said Organizer Virginia Weisz of Grace Lutheran Church. “The community was so gracious and kind … we cannot thank Ridgecrest citizens enough for overwhelming support with their donations.”

She added that several donors even provided the volunteers with cold water bottles to fend off the August heat.

Along with its partner United Methodist Church, Grace Lutheran coordinated the event with Delta Kappa Gama, Beta Sigma Phi, Rotary Club and SSUSD.

“We want to thank Superintendent Ernie Bell for involving some of the student body this year, especially the BHS football team,” said Weisz. “These young men were so impressive — they unloaded the trailer of supplies in 12 minutes.”

Supplies were unloaded at the old Vieweg Elementary School site where they’ll be divvied up among the schools.

“This is another great example of how our schools and our community come together to serve our students — what an amazing accomplishment,” said SSUSD Superintendent Ernie Bell.

Sierra Sands students return to school Tuesday, Aug. 14. See also related story (

Story First Published: 2018-08-10