What a FANTASTIC community-building, good-doing idea this is:
The idea began as a way to bring something sellable to the community in order to simultaneously fill a need for lower-income families while raising money to further support those families in meaningful ways.
After an initial operation involving dresses (think prom, homecoming, etc.) – which ultimately moved into a local store-front – the Skoolie Bus became a mobile classroom to bring summer enrichment activities to lower-income neighborhoods. Outfitted with desks, chairs, and the internet, it became an accessible place for summer growth for all.
Eventually, this morphed into a broader service as a mobile community-building opportunity.
The intent is to do as much good as possible by removing barriers, bringing the community together, and enjoying getting to know one another through food and activities. The bus travels from place to place, event to event, simply doing good things: sharing in learning projects, offering activities for all ages, and providing food for gatherings.
It is supported completely by volunteers and community donations from individuals, organizations, and businesses.
This is absolutely something a congregation could initiate!!! Engage the whole community to support it through funding; have a blast inviting everyone to paint and decorate it (be sure to keep it street legal!) – this develops community-wide interest and ownership; let it be available for all sorts of community events: park activities, parades, celebratory weekends, after-school tutoring in neighborhoods where pricey professionals are out of reach, etc. Funds raised all go back into the community supporting meals and enrichment activities for whatever people are experiencing need.
This is not something the congregation does alone: invite grocers, banks, local tutoring organizations, park directors, schools, gas stations/mechanics, etc.: everyone can contribute something toward the various ‘missions’ the bus undertakes. Volunteers (background checked) can come from anywhere. You do not need to do, say, or teach anything particularly or specifically theological or doctrinal or Christ-centered or religious-y – just develop a loving community together and God’s will is done; God’s reign will come; Christ’s joy will be made full; Love’s call will be met. LOVE this Great Idea for so many reasons and for all the opportunities it creates! Bring Love to the streets!!!