The annual “Stuff the Bus” campaign to collect new school supplies for San Diego County students experiencing homelessness has been extended through the end of August. Donations made to the online fundraiser will be matched by the Danna Foundation up to $20,000.

The fundraiser is currently just about $40,000 shy of its $125,000 goal. Donations of any amount are welcome. A contribution of $20 will purchase a backpack full of school supplies a grade school student would need. And a $25 donation will do the same for a secondary school student.

Sponsored by the San Diego County Office of EducationSan Diego County Credit Union and iHeartMedia, this year’s fundraising drive is taking place online due to public health concerns related to slowing the spread of COVID-19. In previous years, collection sites were set up around the county where donors could drop off school supplies such as pencils, pens, binders, backpacks and much more.

Officials with SDCOE say donations are needed more than ever to offset back-to-school costs for families facing financial hardships due to the pandemic.

More than 22,000 school-age children in the county were identified as homeless last year. SDCOE is taking donations for students in need through a GoFundMe page. All money will be used to buy school supplies that will be distributed in backpacks to the county’s 42 public school districts.

The non-profit Danna Foundation is based in Salt Lake City. Founders Dan and Anna Stanger, who have a home here in San Diego, hold the belief that “we are our brother’s keeper.” The organization focuses on helping the homeless, assisting burn victims, causes associated with affordable housing, and bringing comfort and help to children.

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