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Local non-profit helps bus riders stay cool in the summer heat

"I found a couple of stops and some friends had old coolers, and I set them up and we got some water and it's just grown."

TYLER, Texas — With summer kicking off Tuesday, a local non-profit organization known as Worthy Ones has started its yearly initiative known as the 'Bus Stop Water Project.'

It's a project Nora Schreiber started eight years ago when she noticed a few of her co-workers came in dehydrated from waiting nearly an hour at the bus stop. 

"I saw a couple of my co-workers having to walk into work in this heat for the summer, over 100 degrees," Schreiber said. "I noticed, after that, how miserable people were having to be in this heat, waiting for the buses or walking around. Some are not able to have the fortunateness of a car." 

Schreiber later took action, by creating a project that started off small but quickly grew into a collaborative effort. 

"I found a couple of stops and some friends had old coolers and I set them up and we got some water and it's just grown," Schreiber said. "We have sponsors, we're serving hundreds of people all across the city." 

Schreiber also emphasized the importance of helping the elderly community this summer as they wait at local bus stops for their commute. 

"We have a lot of people that are elderly, that are using our bus systems and for them, this heat makes them more susceptible to having a health risk waiting for the bus," Schreiber said. "Seeing the gratitude that they have given and shown me it's just amazing."

One of Schreiber's great joys from helping the community is building connections and friendships, one cooler at a time. 

"Now I have regulars that I see every summer and you know, I get to see how their lives are changing. And I think it's just so important for us to get to know our neighbors," Schreiber added. 

Schreiber hopes to take this project to further heights by implementing water coolers at every bus stop across the city. But she needs help. 

Worthy Ones is currently accepting more volunteers to help distribute water daily rather than just three days a week. 

To learn more about the organization along with its initiative, visit TheWorthyOne.com

Here is a list of bus stops the organization is currently providing water to:  

  1. North Broadway Ave. across the street from the Salvation Army Thrift Store
  1. South of Broadway in front of Cheddar and Mikoto
  1. Roseland Ave. by Brookshire's 
  1. Intersection of Fifth Street and Beckham in front of the donut shop 
  1. The downtown square

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