Help Stuff the Bus and Make a Difference for Children Experiencing Homelessness
The 2018 Stuff the Bus school supplies drive officially kicks off this weekend as the San Diego County Office of Education and San Diego County Credit Union team up for the fourth straight year to help the region's neediest students — children experiencing homelessness.
More than 22,000 school-age children in San Diego County were identified as homeless during the 2016-17 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," Michelle Lustig, director of SDCOE's Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program 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 Crowdrise.com/stuff-the-bus. Donations are welcome in any amount; for example, $10 will provide for the purchase of a backpack or basic supplies kit, while $15 covers the cost of a backpack filled with supplies for an elementary-age student.
Stuff the Bus officially kicks off July 1, when two colorfully wrapped SDCCU buses start touring the county to collect new, unused school supplies during stops at credit union branches, shopping centers, and partner agencies. In addition, collection bins for donations of new school supplies will be available throughout July at all San Diego County SDCCU branches and select SDCOE locations, including:
- SDCOE main campus, 6401 Linda Vista Road, San Diego
- SDCOE Homeless Education Services office, 3878 Old Town Ave., Suite 200, San Diego
- East County Regional Education Center, 924 E Main Street, El Cajon
- North County Regional Educational Center, 255 Pico Ave., San Marcos
- South County Regional Education Center, 800 National City Blvd., National City
The SDCCU Stuff the Bus campaign is once again partnering with local iHeartMedia radio stations STAR 94.1, JAMN 95.7, and Channel 933 for special appearances and live broadcasts at select Walmart locations. Radio personalities will be broadcasting live at:
- Poway Walmart, July 18 to 22 (STAR 94.1)
- Clairemont Walmart, July 23 to 26 (JAMN 95.7)
- San Marcos Walmart, July 27 to 29 (Channel 933)
- Grossmont Center Walmart, July 30 and 31 (Channel 933)
In 2017, the Stuff the Bus campaign collected more than 222,000 new supplies. Organizers are hopeful that they will surpass that this summer.
"It is powerful to see the generosity of the San Diego community when it comes to helping our most vulnerable students," 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."