JUPITER, Fla. — After years of using a school bus without air conditioning or a wheelchair lift, members of the exceptional student education program at Jupiter Community High School are getting a brand new ride, thanks to donations from the community.
"It was sad, you know," community member Rob Thomson said. "It's like the most needy kids have the worst transportation."
Thomson is the businessman who started the fundraiser and matched dollar-for-dollar all donations raised.
"When you have the opportunity and the ability to give back, you should give back, and so many people did," Thomson said. "There were so many people involved to make this happen."
A total of $96,500 was raised over a three-month period. It's enough money to buy a school bus with air conditioning and a wheelchair lift.
"It's going to allow my student (who is) in a wheelchair to join us instead of having to have her nurse bring her in a separate van, and because it's a small bus, we're able to get into the different job sites so it's safer for the students," teacher Helene McAfee said.
The bus should be fully operational and in use for the ESE program to use by the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.