SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The San Diego Community Credit Union’s “Stuff the Bus” campaign raised $130,900 to provide school supplies for students heading back to school, the financial institution announced Wednesday.
The proceeds from the fundraiser, conducted in collaboration with the San Diego County Office of Education and iHeartMedia radio stations, were used to fill 7,724 backpacks and provide more than 2,000 planners and 24,000 face masks.
SDCCU Stuff the Bus benefits students in San Diego County experiencing homelessness, with supplies going to 32 school districts and 26 charter schools.
The school supply drive, which was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, helped the San Diego County of Education to fulfill all requests for supplies it received.
“We are thrilled to have filled a record number of backpacks this year for thousands of students in need throughout San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties. This year more than ever, it’s important that they start the school year ready to learn and succeed,” said Teresa Campbell, SDCCU’s president and CEO. “We are so grateful to all the generous donors who help make this initiative a tremendous success year after year.”
Monetary donations were accepted online through Aug. 31.
“Even during a pandemic when so many are facing challenges of their own, people recognize the importance of making sure students experiencing homelessness have what they need to start school,” said Paul Gothold, county superintendent of schools. “We are so grateful for the generosity and kindness of our community during this time.”
According to the county Office of Education, more than 22,000 school- age children were identified as homeless during the last school year.
“I am absolutely overwhelmed by the results of Stuff the Bus this year,” said Susie Terry, the Office of Education’s coordinator for homeless education services. “I never imagined that during a pandemic we would get as large of a response as we did. The San Diego community answered the call for help and every student experiencing homelessness for which supplies were requested is going to get them.”