The 2020 Stuff the Bus school supplies drive, an effort to collect online donations to purchase school supplies for students in San Diego County experiencing homelessness, is nearing its goal of raising $125,000 thanks to the help of several big donors.
The effort, let by the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) and San Diego County Credit Union (SDCCU), has raised more than $111,000 to date with a goal of $125,000. Utah-based philanthropic organization Danna Foundation has agreed to match any donations made through Aug. 31, up to $20,000, and Blue Shield Promise Health Plan recently donated $5,000.
“Thanks to the generous outpouring of support from our community, and generous donors like the Danna Foundation and Blue Shield, thousands of students in need throughout San Diego will be more prepared for the start of this school year with their own new supplies,” said Susie Terry, coordinator, homeless liaison foster youth and homeless education services at SDCOE. “We are so grateful for our continued partnership with SDCCU that helps make this happen each year – and to everyone that has donated during the campaign.”
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 – have been collecting thousands of dollars in online donations to purchase much-needed pencils, pens, binders, crayons, backpacks, and more during the campaign. Face coverings will also be included in the backpacks this year, thanks to a donation of 28,000 disposable face masks from local supplier Clinical Supplies.
“We can’t thank the community enough for its support and generosity through the six weeks of this campaign,” said County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. “We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic is adversely effecting so many people, and we are grateful to those that are able to donate to help this vulnerable population.”
Monetary donations will be accepted online through Aug. 31. Donation amounts can vary; $20 provides a filled backpack for an elementary school student, $25 provides a filled backpack for a secondary student, $250 provides a case of backpacks for elementary students, and $300 provides a case of backpacks for secondary students. For more information or to donate online, visit the Stuff the Bus webpage.