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Fill the bus: Future taco truck taking a Texas detour

Staff writer

A former school bus, or better yet a soon-to-be taco truck, is taking an extended detour from Hillsboro to Austin, Texas, to transport supplies to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“It’s a future taco truck, but right now this is more important,” Angie Zaragoza said. She and her husband Paulo Zaragoza own the school bus and left Tuesday to take supplies they collected from residents in Hillsboro and the surrounding area.

“I decided to go to Texas to help the people,” Paulo Zaragoza said. “They need a lot of help.”

He just returned from Mexico and planned to transform the school bus into a taco truck right away, but has decided to put that dream on hold.

“We’re saying let’s do this first and see where it takes us,” Angie Zaragoza said. “Right now, it’s helping people in Texas.”

The Zaragozas frequently buy supplies to send to Mexico, which is what inspired their idea to “Fill the bus” for Texas.

“We just looked at all the stuff on clearance and said, ‘What if this time we also send it to Texas.’ He thought it was a good idea and then I was like, ‘Well what if we drove it?’ We just started talking about it and before we knew it we were just, ‘Let’s do it. Why not? Let’s just go for it.’”

The spontaneity is new to the Zaragozas.

They came up with the idea Aug. 29, began collecting supplies Aug. 30, sorted supplies and filled the bus Sept. 5, and left that same evening.

“It was kind of a last minute thing, which we never do,” Angie Zaragoza said. “I’ve never even been to Austin or Houston.”

To help bring their idea to life, they contacted their pastor, John Werner, at Zion Lutheran Church.

“I called him and just asked, ‘Are we crazy?’ But he said we could do it, and from there it just took off,” she said. “I did not expect it to go so far, but we have received endless support of supplies and cash donations for gas.”

Werner connected the Zaragozas with Bethany Lutheran Church and Austin Disaster Relief Network, a group of over 100 churches working together to bring help to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“It’s great to see people on fire for Jesus and helping people who need it,” Werner said.

The Zaragozas plan to return to Hillsboro on Thursday after hand delivering donations, including toothbrushes, school supplies, and clothes.

“Anybody we see who needs it on the way there, we will stop and hand it to them in their hands,” Angie Zaragoza said. “This is not all going to sit in an office. If we have to sit in a street and hand it out, we will. We want to make sure it’s going to the people in need.”

As they drive into a disaster-stricken area, they have been fierce about not letting fear stop them.

“We have those thoughts like ‘What if, what if,’ but no, we can’t do that,” Angie Zaragoza said. “This is happening for a reason, and those people need us. I don’t care if it’s giving them just a toothbrush. It all helps.

“Everything happens for a reason, and an idea like this had to come to our heads for a reason,” she continued. “I am so thankful for the community who is helping us. It’s a small town, but big hearts.”

Last modified Sept. 7, 2017

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