Nashville, Tenn. – 24 March 2015 – With over five tours to date, thousands of students from more than 100 colleges nationally have tangibly acted to care for orphans through Show Hope’s Red Bus Project. Through a unique British double-decker-bus-turned-rolling-thrift-store, students have learned about the needs of orphans, signed up to get involved, and even donated and shopped for clothes to help provide families for waiting orphans around the world. So far, the Red Bus Project has reached out to more than 300,000 students, sharing the message of advocating for orphans. To continue this powerful mission of impacting students around the U.S., the Red Bus Project is currently visiting 14 colleges this spring.
The Red Bus Project is a college student program started by Show Hope in 2012. Show Hope is a nonprofit organization founded by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth for the purpose of caring and advocating for millions of orphans worldwide. The Red Bus Project’s mission is to unite and inspire students to help make a difference and speak up for the world’s orphans. The program engages students in a variety of ways, from encouraging students to shop on the British double-decker-bus-turned rolling-thrift-store, to donating their gently used clothes to the project, as well as becoming on-going Red Bus Project student Advocates on their campuses.
“Students really care about making a difference in the world,” says Chris Wheeler, Show Hope’s Director of Student Initiatives who oversees the Red Bus Project. “Sometimes they just need someone to point them in the right direction. The Red Bus Project is a way to lead students toward truly making a huge impact in the global orphan crisis through simple steps of action.”
The Red Bus Project has already visited a number of colleges during their current spring tour, such as ETSU, Lee University, UT/Chattanooga. Upcoming stops will be Georgia Tech/Atlanta, Martin Methodist/Pulaski, TN, Murray State University, and more.
The Red Bus Project is more than just a campus tour. A comprehensive engagement campaign ensures that students continue to be engaged in orphan care activities long after the tour leaves campus. On this current spring tour, the Red Bus Project has started several new activities in which students can further their involvement with the project.
“Our goal is not to just swoop on to a campus, have a fun event, then leave and never be heard from again,” comments Wheeler. “We have a very intentional strategy in place to move students progressively towards deeper and deeper engagement in a lifestyle of orphan care. We are asking them ‘What is your Red Bus?’ – a metaphor for specific actions they will take to help the plight of the orphan.”
A key part of the engagement strategy includes equipping student Advocates, who are trained and provided with tools and activities, to engage students at the campuses long after the Red Bus is gone. Wheeler adds, “Nothing speaks to a student like a student. As campus orphan care advocate teams form, students come out of the woodwork to make their voices count.”
For the Spring Tour schedule and for more information about the Red Bus Project, please visit: RedBusProject.org