Community members raise money to support Lee County school bus drivers



It’s been a tough school year for Lee County school bus drivers. They started the year understaffed, and dozens of drivers were laid off by Christmas. Now, some people are complaining of being sick every day because of COVID-19.

One driver agreed to tell her story and asked her to remain anonymous.

“It’s crazy. It’s just, it’s the craziest thing I’ve seen in 12 years,” said the bus driver. “Most of them are retirees or people who are out of work. So , with that happening, we have to cover the routes. You know, we’re trying to cover everyone’s route.”

Drivers feel overworked, underpaid and sometimes underappreciated.

“There was no one there to support us. To help us, we have nowhere to go. “

A group of concerned neighbors said they wanted to help.

Marsha Ellis and Crystal Johnson said they heard drivers speak during school board meetings, which inspired them to do something about it.

“It is something to be understood. It’s another thing to work toward a solution with positive action, says Ellis.

The two have raised money to buy gift cards for people who drive to places like Walmart, Winn-Dixie, and olive groves.

They’re raising money for more gift cards right now to help motorists with things like groceries and gas.

“Anything we can do to make life a little less stressful, that’s what we want to do,” says Johnson.

A small token to show appreciation to our bus drivers

Those neighbors also receive gift card donations from local businesses.

They plan to continue fundraising to continue handing out gift cards, so every Lee County school bus driver feels appreciated.

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Aila Slisco

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