By Crystal J. Damron - Journal-Times
June 26, 2013 — A local businessman is helping bring in donations for school children in need.
Bryan Greenhill is the owner of Papa John's Pizza in Grayson and Louisa.
A six-year Carter County Board of Education member and Heritage Watch Dog volunteer, Greenhill says he felt that God wanted him to do something to give back to the communities.
While driving last month, Greenhill said God began giving him ideas and plans of exactly what he was being called to do: stuff an entire school bus with food and school supplies for needy children.
Greenhill shared his idea with a few people and contacted Becky Walker, coordinator of East Carter Youth Services Centers.
He wanted items that are donated to be distributed to the Carter County Bridges Family Resource Center's along with the Back Pack Program for kids across the county.
Greenhill’s partners in this project did not need much convincing that it was a great thing.
Francis Nash of WGOH/WUGO Radio only needed to hear it would benefit the children of Carter County before he started broadcasting public service announcements.
The announcement led to The Dollar Tree becoming a sponsor and drop off location and the program's first major donor.
Greenhill’s sister, Rene Clay, heard the announcement and approached her co-workers in Kings Daughters Medical Center's community relations department about taking on this project. During one of KDMC’s three deliveries to the Grayson Papa John’s location, Clay said she was happy to help.
“We already do a back pack program so we wanted to concentrate on the food,” Clay said. ““It is overwhelming and it is just wonderful to see the heart of our employees and how much they are willing to give.”
She went on to explain that KDMC team members from all locations gave from their hearts and all the donations came from their own pockets.
Greenhill has sent out 129 letters to businesses across the Carter County to ask them to join this project and help the families in need.
He says there are two ways that an individual or business or church group can help.
To make a donation, drop off food items for backpacks. Items need to have a long shelf life but no peanut products are being accepted.
School supplies also are being accepted at Papa John's, WGOH/WUGO's office or The Dollar Tree.
Make checks payable to “Stuff the Bus” and mail them to 215 South Carol Malone Blvd. Grayson, KY 41143.
The goal is to be able to give $1,000 in cash or supplies to each of the 10 schools in Carter County.
There also will be a bus at the Carter County Fair, which runs July 7 through July 13, where items can be donated.
Seats on the bus can be purchased with a $25 donation. A label identifying the purchaser will be placed on the seat to identify those who helped children in need.
In effort to get folks involved, for each donation of $25 or more, the name will be entered for a Papa John's catered lunch for 12 to 15 persons.
When dropping donations at WGOH/WUGO Radio or visiting “Stuff the Bus” at the fair, donors also will have a chance to win Cincinnati Reds tickets.
The deadline to make donations will be the last day of the fair, Saturday, July 13.
Items will then be transferred to the Carter County Bridges Family Resource Center for the back-to-school giveaway on Wednesday, July 31.
Crystal Damron can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 474-5101.