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Thousands of Students are Heading Back to School Better Equipped for Success Thanks to SDCCU Stuff the Bus

Drive collected money for over 7,700 filled backpacks and nearly 217,000 school supplies for students experiencing homelessness

SAN DIEGO, Calif., (September 2, 2020) — SDCCU® Stuff the Bus, held in partnership with the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) and iHeartMedia radio stations, collected a total of $130,900 which was used to fill 7,724 backpacks, and provide over 2,000 Passion Planners, 24,000 face masks and a total of 216,912 school supplies to better prepare students for success as they head back to school this year. This year the school supply drive was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic with supporters able to make monetary donations towards the cause. Although the need for supplies this year was even greater with more families experiencing financial hardship, the drive enabled SDCOE to fulfill 100% of all requests 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 SDCCU President and CEO Teresa Campbell. “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 August 31. The total amount donated for SDCCU Stuff the Bus was $130,900.
“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 County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. “We are so grateful for the generosity and kindness of our community during this time.” 
Whether students are learning in or out of the classroom, they still need supplies. When students are learning out of the classroom, the need is even greater since they can’t share supplies with a classmate or be given supplies by their teacher. SDCCU Stuff the Bus benefits students in San Diego County experiencing homelessness, with supplies going to 32 school districts and 26 charter schools. According to SDCOE, more than 22,000 school-age children were identified as homeless during the last school year. Homelessness can mean living in a shelter, sharing a residence with whole families, living in a car or trailer or sharing a room in an apartment with relatives. Homelessness is not limited to urban, downtown San Diego—it affects suburban school districts all over the county.
“I am absolutely overwhelmed by the results of Stuff the Bus this year,” said Susie Terry, SDCOE’s Coordinator, Homeless Liaison Foster Youth & 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.”
In addition to helping students in San Diego County, the Stuff the Bus campaign reached both Orange and Riverside counties though our partnership with the YMCA of Orange County. Online donations were collected through August 31 and totaled $2,425, which will help provide filled backpacks and supplies to students in need in both Orange and Riverside counties. “We are so appreciative for the support that SDCCU has shown to the YMCA of Orange County,” said Jeff McBride, Chief Executive Officer, YMCA of Orange County. “Thanks to their donation drives we have been able to provide students in our underserved communities with much needed school supplies to help them start the school year feeling confident and ready to learn, in any format of schooling.”
SDCCU Stuff the Bus aligns with the Live Well San Diego initiative. SDCCU, San Diego’s largest locally-owned financial institution, SDCOE and iHeartMedia are proud Live Well San Diego partners. The County Board of Supervisors launched Live Well San Diego in 2010 with the goal of achieving healthy, safe and thriving communities across the region by partnering with community and city leaders, schools, businesses, non-profit organizations and residents.
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