The annual Stuff the Bus school supplies drive begins Monday, with the San Diego County Office of Education and San Diego County Credit Union teaming up for the ninth straight year to help students experiencing homelessness.
According to the county office, more than 20,000 school-age children in San Diego County have been identified as experiencing homelessness.
The office and credit union, along with iHeartMedia and Jersey Mike’s, intend to collect thousands of dollars in online and in-store donations to purchase pencils, pens, binders, crayons, backpacks and more during the campaign. A portion of donations will also assist San Diego Youth Services in providing meals for homeless youth through its various food programs.
“We know that the struggles for many of our families have increased since the pandemic,” said Susie Terry, coordinator, Homeless Education Services at the San Diego County Office of Education. “This drive allows us to relieve just a portion of their burdens by providing new supplies they need to start school and be ready to learn.”
The campaign will collect monetary donations online or in-store at any Jersey Mike’s locations in the county.
“It’s so important that our students experiencing homelessness are cared for and feel a sense of belonging at school, which is why providing them with school supplies and making sure they are ready to learn is essential,” said Paul Gothold, San Diego County superintendent of schools. “We are incredibly grateful to members of the San Diego community who have shown their support each year for our students, even though so many of them face challenges themselves. Even the smallest donation during this campaign can make a big impact.”
In 2022, the Stuff the Bus campaign raised more than $100,000 in monetary donations to help purchase more than 8,600 backpacks filled with supplies for county students.
More information on the campaign and additional ways to donate can be found at www.sdcoe.net/stuffthebus.
— City News Service