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Stuff The Bus Campaign collects funds to help homeless students in San Diego County

An annual school supplies drive aims to help more than 18,000 school-age children in San Diego County experiencing homelessness prepare for the upcoming school year.
School supplies student stock
According to organizers, $20 will cover the cost of a backpack filled with supplies for an elementary-age student, while $25 will cover the cost of a backpack and supplies for a secondary-age student.

An annual school supplies drive aims to help more than 18,000 school-age children in San Diego County experiencing homelessness prepare for the upcoming school year. 

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) and the San Diego County Credit Union partnered in their eighth consecutive year in helping students experiencing homelessness in the region through their “Stuff the Bus” campaign, which runs through July. Alongside iHeartMedia, Ralphs, and Food 4 Less grocery stores, the goal is to collect thousands of dollars in online and in-store donations to purchase much-needed pencils, pens, binders, crayons, backpacks, and more for students in need.

The San Diego Youth Services will receive a portion of the donations to provide meals for homeless youth through its various food programs, according to the SDCOE in a press release. 

“We know that families in our communities are struggling,” said Susie Terry, coordinator, Homeless Education Services at the San Diego County Office of Education. “Each year, this drive allows us to relieve some of their burden as they prepare to go back to school. Every spring we hear from local schools asking if we will have supplies again and letting us know how much it means to the families to receive them. We are so grateful for our continued partnership with SDCCU and the impact of Stuff the Bus!”

The Stuff the Bus campaign raised more than $100,000 in monetary donations in 2021 to help purchase more than 7,900 backpacks filled with supplies for San Diego County students. Monetary donations of any amount are accepted online or in-store at any Ralphs or Food 4 Less grocery store in the county.

According to organizers, $20 will cover the cost of a backpack filled with supplies for an elementary-age student, while $25 will cover the cost of a backpack and supplies for a secondary-age student. 

“We are incredibly grateful to members of the San Diego community who have shown their support each year for students across the region experiencing homelessness,” said Dr. Paul Gothold, San Diego County superintendent of schools. “Our students and their families continue to face daily challenges, and even the smallest donation during this campaign can make a big impact. We want to make sure our most vulnerable students have what they need to participate in school and be able to focus on learning.”  

More information is available at www.sdcoe.net/stuffthebus