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 Drive for Success Campaign to Help Kids Facing Homelessness

A new backpack and school supplies can add a little pep to the step of a child heading off to class on the first day of school.

Unfortunately, not every child is able to start the year off right, without some help. That's why California Coast Credit Union and the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) have partnered with local businesses and government agencies for the Drive for Success campaign. The campaign hopes to provide much-needed school supplies to the more than 22,000 children across the region faced with homelessness.

The Drive for Success campaign will collect backpacks and school supplies July 6 through July 31.

Each of the credit union's 17 participating branches will have a uniquely decorated collection box to take in donated items, including: binders, spiral notebooks, binder paper, calculators, color pencils, erasers, flashcards, glue sticks, highlighters, pens, washable markers, notebooks, pencils, folders, rulers, scissors, and tape.

Supplies can also be dropped off at SDCOE locations in Linda Vista, San Marcos, National City, and El Cajon as well as many of the Drive for Success sponsor locations, including the City of Chula Vista, the Eli Lily and Company, the County of San Diego Department of Housing and Community Development, Macy's, The United Way of San Diego, and the Beth Israel Congregation. Click here to see all drop of locations.

According to America's Youngest Outcasts 2010, a report from The National Center on Family Homelessness, 1.6 million American children—or one in 45 children—are without a stable home at some point in a year. Many of these children have limited educational proficiency in math and reading and are eight times more likely to be asked to repeat a grade.

"California Coast Credit Union was started by teachers in 1929, so serving the needs of students and the educational community is not only our business, but something we're passionate about," said Rene McKee, vice president of marketing and community relations for the credit union. "New backpacks and school supplies will help these children get their school year off on the right foot."

Last year, California Coast Credit Union supported SDCOE's school supply drive which provided over 4,000 filled backpacks to homeless school-aged children in 35 school districts around the county.

"These students are enduring challenges that many of us have not had to face," said Susie Terry, project specialist for SDCOE Foster Youth and Homeless Education Services. "The Drive for Success donation drive will ensure these students have the supplies they need to start the school year ready for classes and ready to learn."