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NOTA to stuff buses for charities



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December 01, 2010 - Usually, when folks see a North Oakland Transportation Authority vehicle tooling down the road, it's filled with passengers on their way to various destinations.

But this weekend, three NOTA vehicles will hopefully be filled from top to bottom with food, clothes and toys as part of local efforts to create a brighter holiday season for families and individuals struggling to make ends meet.

It's called "Stuff-a-Bus" and NOTA is challenging the three communities it serves to each pack one of their vehicles with the aforementioned items.

"Everything's to benefit the less fortunate in our communities," said Pat Fitchena, executive director of NOTA.

NOTA minibuses will be parked in Oxford, Addison and Orion Townships on Saturday, Dec. 4 and Sunday, Dec. 5. Donations can be made between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. both days.

In Oxford, the bus will be located at Fire Station #1 (96 N. Washington St.). Addison's bus will be parked at the township office complex (1440 Rochester Rd.) in Lakeville. In Orion, the bus will be stationed outside the office of Dr. Joseph A. Mastromatteo (312 S. Broadway St./M-24).

Fitchena said she has "no idea" how much stuff the vehicles can hold, but should they fill up quickly, ample room will be made for more donations.

"We're willing to unload them and reload them," she said. "The more we can gather together, the better it will be for everyone."

All donations of canned goods and other nonperishable food items will be given to Oxford/Orion FISH for distribution at its pantry in Thomas.

Donations of new clothing and new toys will be allocated to Love In the Name of Christ (Love INC) of North Oakland County, a non-profit cooperative effort that links 21 area churches, volunteers and service agencies to help them reach the disadvantaged.

"This is the first time we've done anything like this and I think it will be a great thing for our communities and for the agencies that are scrounging to try to get stuff together for people," Fitchena said.

'Tis the season to give.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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