Marsha Ellis and Crystal Johnson said they’ve heard drivers speak out at school board meetings, which inspired them to do something. A group of concerned neighbors said they wanted to help. “It’s one thing to be sympathetic. It’s another thing to try to work towards a solution with positive action,” said Ellis.
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Drivers feel overworked, underpaid, and sometimes unappreciated. “It’s crazy. It’s just, it’s the craziest I’ve seen in 12 years,” the bus driver said. “Most of it are either people retiring or people quitting. So with that happening, we have to cover routes. You know, every we’re trying to cover everybody’s route.”
“There’s nobody there to back us. To help us we have nowhere to turn in terms of help.” One driver agreed to tell her story and asked that she remain anonymous.
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They’re raising money for more gift cards right now to help drivers with things like groceries and gas. Johnson said, “whatever we can do to make life a little less stressful, that is what we want to do.” The bus driver said, “when we get anything like that, we are also very grateful and it just helps us so much, you know, like gift cards at Christmas time, they help with presents or food.”
The two raised money to buy gift cards for drivers to places like Walmart, Winn-Dixie, and olive garden. “We want to do anything we can as a community to let them know they are supported, that there are people who are concerned, and we want to do anything we can to just make life a little bit better,” said Johnson.
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- Community members raising money to support Lee County school bus drivers
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