The Red Bus Project is coming to UK raising awareness for orphans

By Judah Taylor

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The Red Bus Project is coming to UK on Halloween. The project is a double decker bus spreading awareness to college campuses about the needs and care for orphans.

On the bus, students are invited to donate and buy clothing. The mobile thrift store raises funds that will go toward orphans.

Emily and Caleb Chapman, whose father is Christian recording-artist Steven Curtis Chapman, and Chris Wheeler founded the Red Bus Project in January 2012.

Since founded, the Red Bus Project has toured over 25 college campuses in the southeast as the college program of Show Hope, a non-profit orphan organization that helps orphans in distress.

“We started the RBP as a way to engage students in orphan care,” said Wheeler, director of student initiative for Show Hope.

“We know that students don’t have a lot of money, but they do enjoy thrift store shopping… so, we created the Red Bus Project to get them involved.”

The RBP works in a very simple way. It relies on donations of clothes from students and others to sell on board the bus.

The profits made go directly to Show Hope and help families permanently adopt orphans from all over the world. Students can get involved with the RBP without being on campus. Students will have the opportunity to be involved in a campus group, formed by the RBP.

“A campus group is made up of individual college students together who want to make a difference,” Wheeler said.

The first college group campaign is a clothing drive that will run all the way until Orphan Sunday, the first Sunday in November. There will also be donation bins left at UK, where students can donate clothes and accessories to the RBP after the bus leaves campus.

The British double decker bus turned rolling thrift store, has been visited by more than 10,525 students and has sold more than $21,000 worth of discounted clothes to help orphans so far.

With a typical adoption costing over $5,000, Wheeler said the projects work isn’t done yet. There are still over 147 million orphans in the world, with a new child being orphaned every 18 seconds.