The 2019 Stuff the Bus school supplies drive is underway as the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) and San Diego County Credit Union (SDCCU) team up for the fifth straight year to help the region’s students who are experiencing homelessness.
More than 22,000 school-age children in San Diego County were identified as homeless during the 2017-18 school year. SDCOE and SDCCU – along with iHeartMedia – aim to collect thousands of much-needed pencils, pens, binders, crayons, backpacks, and more during the SDCCU Stuff the Bus campaign. One of the biggest challenges for a child experiencing homelessness is staying in school. The Stuff the Bus campaign aims to make a difference by eliminating their worries of walking into class without a notebook or pencil.
“We know that our families feel supported when they find out that their children will have all of the supplies they need to start the school year ready to learn just like all of their peers,” said Susie Terry, coordinator for SDCOE’s Foster Youth and Homeless Education Services. “The generosity of the community and the deep partnership with SDCCU makes this possible and we are so grateful for every backpack we are able to fill.”
There are many ways to give during the Stuff the Bus campaign, including online at www.sdcoe.net/stuffthebus2019donations. Donations are welcome in any amount; for example, $10 will provide for the purchase of a backpack for a secondary-age student or a basic supplies kit, while $15 covers the cost of a backpack filled with supplies for an elementary-age student.
Stuff the Bus officially launched July 1. Look for collection bins to donate new, unused school supplies throughout July at all San Diego County SDCCU branches, Walmart stores (July 10-31), select Mathnasium locations, and select SDCOE locations, including:
- SDCOE main campus, 6401 Linda Vista Road, San Diego (outside Room 105 and cafeteria)
- SDCOE Homeless Education Services office, 3878 Old Town Ave., Suite 200, San Diego
- North County Regional Educational Center, 255 Pico Ave., San Marcos
- South County Regional Education Center, 800 National City Blvd., National City
In addition, two colorfully wrapped school buses will be touring the county to collect new, unused school supplies during stops at SDCCU branch locations, select Walmart locations, and partner agencies. For the bus tour schedule, visit www.sdccu.com/stuffthebus.
In 2018, the Stuff the Bus campaign collected more than 231,000 new supplies and more than 6,000 backpacks. Organizers are hopeful that they will surpass that this summer.
“The San Diego community consistently shows their generosity when it comes to helping students who are in need,” said Dr. Paul Gothold, San Diego County Superintendent of Schools. “As a father and an educator, I know what a difference it makes to be able to start a new school year with a backpack full of supplies. Being ready to learn lays the foundation for a bright future for these children.”