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The Southington Citizen — Friday, July 27, 2012

Bus Continued from page 1 Gibney’s mother, Tricia Gibney, said the girls wanted to try something a bit different this year. She said the

girls receive donations of school supplies throughout the year, but also receive help from Community Services. She said the girls were able to fill the whole bus, with supplies occupying every seat.

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“This year we’re trying to do it mainly on donations, so we came up with this idea to ‘fill that bus,’” Tricia Gibney said. Erin Gibney said when her group took over the program, the girls spent a lot of time trying to organize the supplies and understand how everything worked. She said the “Fill That Bus” initiative will be an annual event for them to get supplies donated. “If you can give somebody

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a backpack where they don’t have to shop for school supplies when they’re in need, it just takes a lot of weight off their shoulders because you know they’re helping them,” she said. “You know you’re saving them a lot of money if they are in need.” Janet Mellon, director of Southington Community Services, said the Giving Back Girls are the third group to operate the Smart Start Program, and she loved the idea. “Every time we get another group it’s amazing,” Mellon said. “I thought it was brilliant.” And so it was parked, a giant, yellow embodiment of the girls’ efforts, a school bus donated by New Britain Transportation, right in front of the Southington WalMart on Queen Street on Sunday afternoon. For three hours, the girls stood outside with a table

and a shopping cart, collecting supplies from shoppers and dumping the items in the bus when the cart got filled up. They even got a visit from the Southington Fire Department, and three fire trucks of firefighters swarmed the store for supplies to donate. Town Councilor Cheryl Lounsbury came out to commend the girls on their efforts, telling them they are “what makes our town, our town.” “I think it’s magnificent,” Lounsbury said. “I think that Southington is a wonderful town and it’s because all of our citizens give back, and it starts with our youth.” Gibney, 13, said she started the program in 2010 when she was in sixth-grade. Along with collecting and distributing school supplies for the Smart Start Program, See Bus, page 35

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The Southington Citizen 07-27-2012  

The Southington Citizen 07-27-2012

The Southington Citizen 07-27-2012  

The Southington Citizen 07-27-2012

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