SOMERS, N.Y. -- Somers resident Dave Kucera knows what it's like to live without. Which is why he's so big into giving.
From ages 6 to 12 the owner of Rye-based County Coach Bus lived at Andrus Children’s Home, where he remembers crying himself to sleep because he missed his mother. Which is why each November, he's an active leader and participant in both Pajama Program’s Stuff a Bus Campaign in Scarsdale and the Tammarack Tower Turkey Trot in Port Chester, where he went to high school.
Both programs offer new pajamas and books to underpriviledged children, including those at Andrus Children's Home in Yonkers where he was once a resident. "These pajamas are a sense of comfort for the children. Some of them have never even owned a pair. The pajamas are like a 'goodnight hug,'" he said.
Stuff a Bus helps support Pajama Program’s nationwide One Million Good Nights initiative to collect 1 million new pajamas, 1 million new books and the necessary resources for U.S. children and adolescents in need. Kucera's participation came about seven years ago when his secretary's daughter suggested he fill a bus from floor to ceiling with pajamas and books.
Each year the program grows bigger. Just a few weeks ago kids from all over Westchester County helped stuff a large school bus with about 6,000 pairs of new pajamas and 5,000 books. "It's a great campaign that teaches all involved the true meaning of charity," said Kucera.
Three years ago, thanks to his Port Chester connection, Kucera teamed up with Port Chester's Turkey Trot, which benefits area students with scholarships and other educational needs. "Everyone wants to help," he said.
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