The Red Bus Project, a campaign committed to raising awareness about the worldwide orphan crisis, parked at Mississippi College’s campus on Thursday, Oct. 2. The bright red double decker positioned in front of the Caf was a mobile thrift store that also educated customers about the state of the estimated 140 million orphaned children around the globe.
MC students were able to browse through discounted clothes and accessories for sale, as well as donate their own clothes for the cause. The two-story bus also displayed facts about the orphan situation, including how every 18 seconds a child is orphaned.
“It’s a problem,” said RBP’s student initiatives program coordinator Brooke Lyle. “There are huge numbers of orphans, and we are not okay with it.”
The project is an extension of a Nashville-based non-profit called Show Hope, started by Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman. Chapman’s sons came up with the idea of using a mobile thrift store to draw college students into the effort.
Lyle said the mission of the Red Bus Project is informing college students of the orphan crisis and how they can help. The group not only raises money through the thrift store, but they also participate in global efforts to aid orphans.
“Show Hope gives adoption aid grants to families to help with the cost of adoption and also has four special care centers in China for orphans with special needs,” said Jill Hooks, an MC student who works with the Red Bus Project.
The project’s goal is to help with orphan care, adoptions, and post-adoption education, as well as grow the number of advocates right here in the States.
“I took a semester off the spring of my sophomore year to do the Red Bus Project internship,” said Hooks. “When I was an intern we went to 18 different colleges in North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana.”
The stop at MC is a part of RBP’s fifth tour, which also includes Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas. They usually do a tour every semester in different regions of the country.
For more information about getting involved with the Red Bus Project, go to redbusproject.org.