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Quincy Public Schools Foundation


Recent Articles and Notes about Quincy High School

Transportation Employees and Their Families

Transportation Employees and Their Families
Make Giving a Family Affair

QUINCY, Ill. (Jan. 16, 2008) — From the driver’s seats of their school buses, Jony Shaw and Dan Bartelt hear the heartbreaking stories of underprivileged children. On the Saturday before Christmas, these drivers and a bus barn full of employees and their families at Quincy Public School District, loaded up school buses to deliver the gifts, groceries and Christmas dinners that ensured more families had a merry Christmas.

Dan Bartelt (far left), Jony Shaw (center in white), Shane Barnes (far right) and the crew at Quincy Public Schools Make a Merry Christmas.

Shaw and Bartelt revived the Make a Merry Christmas program after hearing about it at a union meeting six years ago. Every year, Shaw said she gets in touch with local school officials in her western Illinois community to get the names of families in need and asks for gift wish lists. Then she solicits drivers and local business for donations. Over the years, she’s held chili suppers and bus barn garage sales to raise funds for gifts and groceries. This year she finally has the paper work to be an official non-profit. She says she’s thinking of all kinds of new ways to get more gifts to more families.

"There’s a lot of families out there that are needy," Shaw said.

Bartelt, a trainer and state instructor, said he loves seeing the reactions when the decorated school bus pulls up outside a family’s house. He’s said involving his kids teaches them about charity and the meaning of Christmas.

"It gives them idea what the holiday season is really about," he said.

This year between 15 and 20 members of a staff of 100 and their families joined Bartelt and Shaw in the bus barn to wrap gifts and make early morning deliveries. Shane Barnes, the director of transportation, said he’s proud to lead a group that is so dedicated to their community.

"Bus driver’s don’t make a whole lot of money. So, for them to be getting out there and giving their time and money is really a big deal," he added.

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