Drive collected money to purchase over 7,977 filled backpacks and nearly 340,000 school supplies for students experiencing homelessness

SAN DIEGO, Calif., (September 28, 2021) — SDCCU® Stuff the Bus reached its goal and collected over $100,000 which was used to fill 7,977 backpacks plus 120 extra supply kits, and provided 3,046 Passion Planners, 27,825 face masks and nearly 340,000 school supplies to better prepare students for success as they head back to school this year. This year the school supply drive, which was held in partnership with the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) and iHeartMedia radio stations, encouraged supporters to make monetary donations toward the cause online and in-store at any Ralphs or Food 4 Less grocery store location in San Diego County. Most notably, this year’s drive enabled SDCOE to fulfill 100 percent of all requests received!
“We are so proud and thankful to the community for their support to enable us to meet the needs of thousands of students experiencing homelessness throughout San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties. The success of this year’s drive will allow the students to return to school this fall feeling prepared,” said SDCCU President and CEO Teresa Campbell. “We are so grateful to all the generous donors who help make this school supply drive more and more successful every year”.
Monetary donations were accepted online through August 31. The amount donated by the community for SDCCU Stuff the Bus exceeded our $100,000 goal.
“Continuing through the pandemic with so many in our communities still experiencing challenges of their own, people recognize the importance of ensuring students experiencing homelessness are equipped with the necessary items to return to school,” said County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. “We are so appreciative for the donations and compassion shown by the community to support our students.” 
SDCCU Stuff the Bus benefits students in San Diego County experiencing homelessness, with supplies going to 28 school districts and 30 charter schools. According to SDCOE, more than 20,000 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 also affects suburban school districts all over the county.
“I am excited and impressed by the results of Stuff the Bus this year,” said Susie Terry, SDCOE’s Coordinator, Homeless Education Services. “Even during a pandemic, the San Diego community really came out for us, showing they care about the needs of students who are homeless. This allowed us to surpass last year in the amount we were able to give schools and to fulfill 100% of the requests we received this year."
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 $2,500, which will help provide filled backpacks and supplies to students in need in both Orange and Riverside counties. “The YMCA of Orange County is beyond grateful to SDCCU for partnering with us to raise over $2,500 to obtain much needed school supplies for our hundreds of students that participate in our programs. Because of this effort, we are able to provide necessary school supplies to those in need and ensure our students get the proper attention and assistance with homework and study help at YMCA afterschool programs.” said Beth McAllister, Associate Development Director.
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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