School bus driver Michele Shull had hoped to fill one bus with supplies like blankets, warm clothing, and batteries, to take down to New York City for those most affected by Hurricane Sandy.
But enthusiasm and people's keen desire to help quickly overtook that now seemingly modest idea.
On Saturday morning, three Ocean State Transit buses packed full with supplies from OST communities, including East Providence, Middletown, South Kingstown, Chariho and Exeter-West Greenwich set out from Rhode Island for Queens, N.Y.
who got the other five OST bus yards involved.
School families heard about the plan and donated. Churches – including the First Baptist Church of E.G., the Russian Orthodox Church, and St. Luke's in E.G. – got into the act. And others who just heard about it and wanted to help donated too.
In the end, they collected so many things – diapers, dogfood, toothpaste, water bottles, coats, and on and on – some things had to be handed off to Cardi's, which was also sending a truck down on Saturday.
"The things we were hearing from people were, 'I wanted to help but I didn't know how to get it there," said Shull Friday. "So, you know what? We're Ocean State Transit – let us do it!"
Update: The buses made it to Queens near the devasted Rockaway area before noon on Saturday. Patch hopes to have photos from NYC posted soon.