This holiday season Blue Bird Corporation has given a gift that will keep on giving for years to come. The school bus OEM donated a bus to the national organization One Million Acts of Kindness, whose mission is to teach young people compassion and generosity.
At a special ceremony Thursday, Blue Bird recognized the many good deeds of the organization by presenting the keys to a freshly repainted, 24-foot-long bus to its founder, Bob Votruba (see picture). It is a badly needed upgrade from the used, 23-year-old bus the group bought about five years ago.
Votruba launched One Million Acts of Kindness 10 years ago out of concern for the state of the world his own three children would inherit. He bought a bus, enlisted family and friends to help repaint it and set out on a nationwide tour with his loyal Boston terrier, Bogart.
He travels the country speaking to public schools, colleges, homeless shelters, hospitals, businesses and other organizations with a simple message: Each of us can make the world a better place by performing One Million Acts of Kindness in our lives.
In year three of this mission, Votruba introduced a bicycle ride to his journey to raise awareness about issues such as bullying and adolescent suicide that kids often deal with at far too young an age, he said. Now, the donation from Blue Bird will allow him to reach an even larger geographic audience.
“Earlier this year, we heard from someone who Bob had recently assisted, asking if we would consider providing a bus so the organization could continue its mission,” said Phil Horlock, Blue Bird’s president and CEO. “After learning about Bob’s generous accomplishments, especially with schoolchildren, Blue Bird felt compelled to get involved.”
This project represents a collaboration between national and local businesses. Blue Bird’s paint supplier, PPG Industries, contributed the paint, and Mid State RV Center donated the talent for a custom paint job.
“I’ve spent my life trying to inspire kindness in others, but being on the receiving end of such kindness humbles me,” said Votruba, whose Twitter handle is KindnessRocks. “I’m eternally grateful to Blue Bird for this donation, which will help us expand our reach with reliable, fuel-efficient transportation.”