Dansville Public School System in Dansville, NY has collected toys and gifts for every student at Mendel Elementary (K-4 school with 350 students) and are having them delivered Monday, December 18, 2017. Their campaign, “Fill the Bus,” was started in response to hurricane Harvey and will culminate with an event for every Mendel Elementary student to receive a gift, a visit with Santa, and dinner.


Dansville Superintendent Dr. Paul Alioto states that when they reached out to school leaders associated with Mendel, asking how they could help, they were told “The best thing you can do for our kids is to help make their holidays a little brighter. They lost so much.” The damage to Mendel was so extensive that the building was closed and students had to combine with two other schools nearby. Students’ homes near the elementary were greatly affected and some cases destroyed.


Dansville set up a decorated school bus that parked at different locations throughout the month of November and the beginning of December to give students and community members the chance to donate age appropriate gifts and “Fill the Bus”. The initiative was made possible with help from Dollar General, PBR Cookers, Texas Teachers, Escamilla Intermediate School, Mendel PTO, UPS and Matthews Buses. These companies will cover shipping of the gifts, wrapping paper and supplies, all dinner ingredients and preparation, and many volunteers to make it all possible.


Representatives from Aldine Independent School District are working hard to ensure a wonderful event for all of the Mendel Elementary families, “Each student will receive a gift and dinner. We cannot thank everyone involved enough for what they have done.”