Local WKU student-athletes help shop for Stuff the Bus

The annual Stuff the Bus school drive brings in charitable donations from a variety of groups every year. Those groups include the likes of Western Kentucky University athletic teams, too.

While the teams are more accustomed to stuffing stat sheets during their play on the court at E.A. Diddle Arena, two teams took time out of their busy practicing and workout schedules to help Stuff the Bus.

"To be able to make an impact on kids maybe you’ve never even seen," said WKU Men’s Basketball sophomore forward Marek Nelson. "To know that it means a lot to them is really special for all of our guys. We all enjoy stuff like this. It’s great to be able to come out and here and do something like this for sure."

"We like to get to shop for the kids, pick out cute things for them," WKU Women’s Volleyball senior Mary Martin said. "It really is good that the whole community comes in and is involved."

On Thursday afternoon, between lifting weights and regular practice, the men’s basketball team delivered multiple bags of school supplies like paper, pencils, crayons, and notebooks. For some players like Nelson and Taveion Hollingsworth, this is their second year helping out with the event, and for someone like Hollingsworth, the purpose of Stuff the Bus hits home with him and the similar situations he faced during his childhood.

"As a kid, I didn’t really have stuff like this," the sophomore guard said. "For kids to actually look up to us and for us to come out here and do this for these kids, it means a lot."

On Friday afternoon, it was the girls’ turn. The WKU Women’s Volleyball team showed up to shop for both school supplies and groceries for the kids. The players split into teams of two, with each team receiving $100 to spend on their supplies. Whoever brought back the heaviest amount of supplies within their budget would be crowned the winner. 

"It’s very competitive for us, but for a good cause," said Martin. "It’s also good that we do get to bond over something like this."

All the athletes from these two teams understand how much support they receive from the fans in this community, so coming out and helping out at Stuff the Bus for an hour or two was the least they could do to give back to the community. 

"It gives us a chance to show the community how much we want to help them because they support us every single game," senior Taylor Dellinger of the women’s volleyball team said. "They’re always having our backs, and it’s just good to be able to come out and have their’s and be able to support the community."

"It’s great to have a community like Bowling Green behind us as well," Nelson added. "We love that feeling knowing everyone in [Diddle Arena} is all for us and loves rocking with us. It’s great."