No one has been more vital to the ongoing success of the Walk for Life West Coast than our bus captains. Many of our attendees are coming from a considerable distance to stand for the littlest among us, and it’s possible they would not be able to make it were buses not available. The local bus captain is the pivot between the Walk for Life West Coast and the parishioners. The bus captain books the bus, publicizes the trip, advises to availability, provides guidance to the travelers, advises them where to meet, what to bring, what to wear, encourages those who can afford it to contribute to the fare of those who can’t, and never loses sight that the journey is firstly spiritual. St. Paul himself would be right at home: a Walk for Life West Coast bus is a rolling ‘house church’!
We’ve gathered the tips below from some of our veteran bus captains. We hope you find them helpful!
1. Things to request of your priest/pastor:
- Get his permission to have a bus leave from your church.
- Ask priest/pastor to join you on the Walk (priest/religious/seminarians go free).
- Arrange to have notices placed in bulletins.
- Arrange to place large color flyers (obtained from email@example.com) in church vestibule. You can also download flyers here.
- Arrange to either place smaller flyers (customized to your church) in the bulletins or to be left so people can get them as they come in or leave.
- Arrange for several people to be available after each Mass/service with a sign-up sheet to take reservations and monies.
- Ask pastor to announce Walk and bus departure after all the Masses/services and/or ask if someone connected with church bus can speak after all the Masses/services.
- Ask pastor if he is willing to allow a “donation weekend” for parishioners to help with funding the buses.
- Ask pastor if you can print T-Shirts. Example: “(Parish name) loves the Walk for Life West Coast”
- Ask pastor for permission to have Adoration and/or a Rosary in prayerful preparation for the Walk.
2. Contact the bus company to reserve a bus. They may require a contract and a deposit.
3. Complete the contract and return if with any required deposit.
4. Register your bus with Rodney Roller under the bus registration link under the registration tab on the website (he gets our parking permits and arranges for a place for the buses to park during the walk). This also enables individuals to locate a bus in their geographic location and contact the bus captain directly.
5. Meet with the leaders and members of other groups in your parish. Invite them to attend and see if they will help with funding.
6. Arrange a Bus Captains’ meeting a few days before the Walk and review instructions and suggestions from Rodney Roller.
7. Contact your local media to see if any will advertise the fact you have a bus going to the Walk for Life. Arrange to have your information advertised in the local papers.
8. If you are arranging more than one bus, arrange to meet the bus captains at the beginning of this effort and confirm everyone’s contact name, phone number, cell phone number, email address and possibly snail mail address.
9, Arrange to meet at least once a month if beginning in August and then periodically and at least 3 weeks before the Walk.
10. After the Walk have a follow-up event such as a potluck to review how things went and congratulate yourselves for a job well done!
11. PRAY BEFORE EACH STEP AND HAVE FUN. See you at the Walk!