The San Diego County Office of Education and San Diego County Credit Union collected $103,102 for the eighth annual Stuff the Bus school supplies drive from donors across the county, it was announced Tuesday.
“Making sure that our students experiencing homelessness have the school supplies they need to participate on the first day of school is critical,” said County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. “I’m so grateful to the San Diego County community and everyone who donated for their willingness to take action and support our students.”
Monetary donations were gathered online and at Jersey Mike’s locations around the county to purchase backpacks filled with school supplies during the five-week campaign.
According to the organizations, the 9,147 backpacks included more than 220,290 individual supplies. A portion of the funds will also be donated to San Diego Youth Services food programs for homeless youth. More than 22,000 school-age children were identified as homeless during the 2021-22 school year.
“We are so grateful to all the generous donors who help make this school supply drive successful each year,” said SDCCU President and CEO Teresa Campbell. “The ongoing support of our community enables us to meet the needs of thousands of students experiencing homelessness throughout San Diego County.”
“The supplies purchased through the donations collected in this year’s drive will allow the students to return to school this fall ready to learn,” Campbell said.
The donations filled all of the requests that were received by SDCOE’s Homeless Education Services, which came from 34 school districts and 31 charter schools.
In 2022, campaign raised $107,000 in monetary donations to help purchase more than 8,600 backpacks filled with supplies.
City News Service contributed to this article.