The 2020 Stuff the Bus school supplies drive has officially kicked off as the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) and San Diego County Credit Union (SDCCU) team up for the sixth straight year to help the region’s students who are experiencing homelessness.
More than 22,000 school-age children in San Diego County have been identified as homeless, and this population has been especially impacted by the school and business closures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. SDCOE and SDCCU – along with iHeartMedia – aim to collect thousands of dollars in online donations to purchase 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. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of a physical school environment has made engagement even more challenging,” said Susie Terry, coordinator for SDCOE’s Foster Youth and Homeless Education Services. “The Stuff the Bus campaign helps provide assistance to our families so they have one less thing to worry about as the new school year approaches. We are grateful to SDCCU for their continued partnership in this effort.”
This year’s Stuff the Bus campaign will be conducted solely online with no on-site collection of supplies as was done in the past. Donations are welcome in any amount; for example, $20 will cover the cost of a backpack filled with supplies for an elementary-age student, while $25 will cover the cost of a backpack and supplies for a secondary-age student.
The SDCCU Stuff the Bus campaign, which runs throughout the month of July, is once again partnering with local iHeartMedia radio stations Star 94.1, JAM’N 95.7, and Channel 93.3 for special appearances and live interviews.
In 2019, the Stuff the Bus campaign provided more than 6,800 backpacks filled with supplies to San Diego County students.
“We recognize this is a challenging time for many families, but it’s been particularly hard on families experiencing homelessness,” said Dr. Paul Gothold, San Diego County Superintendent of Schools. “Even the smallest of donations can make a big impact for our students as they navigate this new reality.”