2017-07-14 / Front Page

Don’t miss the bus— school supplies needed

United Way asking for donations


TIME IS NOW—Stuff the Bus donation sites in Camarillo include the Camarillo Library, CBC Federal Credit Union, Premier America Credit Union, Montecito Bank & Trust and the Ventura County Office of Education. July 21 is the deadline for donations. TIME IS NOW—Stuff the Bus donation sites in Camarillo include the Camarillo Library, CBC Federal Credit Union, Premier America Credit Union, Montecito Bank & Trust and the Ventura County Office of Education. July 21 is the deadline for donations. The clock is winding down for those who would like to make contributions to a program that provides low-income children with new backpacks stuffed with school supplies.

United Way of Ventura County’s annual Stuff the Bus drive helps dozens of children. But donations to the program are running low, officials at several collection spots said this week.

“We haven’t received a whole lot, honestly,” said Tish Cabezas, director of marketing at The Oaks mall in Thousand Oaks. “Our display has been mostly empty.”

Similar responses came from other collection sites for the campaign, including Premier America Credit Union in Westlake Village, where only a couple of items had been dropped off as of Tuesday, an employee there said.

Hard to miss, the Stuff the Bus collection displays, which are basically large canvas boxes that look like yellow school buses, were placed June 21 at about 30 sites across the county to collect new backpacks and school supplies until the campaign officially ends Fri., July 21.

Local United Way officials set up the collection points at high-profile locations—including local libraries, shopping centers, and banks and credit unions— but very few items had been dropped off as of July 11, just 10 days before the deadline.

At the drop-off site at the Simi Valley Library, donations started coming in last Friday, the same day the Simi Valley Acorn published an announcement about the Stuff the Bus campaign, said outreach librarian Jodi Regan.

“We had no donations up until Friday. Then I came in today and we had 15 notebooks in there,” Regan said Monday.

She believes it may still be a bit too early, with the start of school still several weeks away.

“People aren’t thinking about the next school year yet,” she said.

On July 21, United Way officials will gather all the collection boxes and bring them to the agency’s Camarillo headquarters, where teams of volunteers will sort the items.

On Wed., July 28, representatives from 18 organizations, including school districts and nonprofits, will pick up the backpacks, United Way spokesperson Susan Englund said.

“The intent is to get all the backpacks to the kids before school starts,” she said.

There’s still time to help out. Donations of new backpacks and school supplies can be dropped off at the Camarillo Library; Simi Valley Library; CBC Federal Credit Union in Camarillo and Thousand Oaks; Simi Valley Ford; Simi Valley City Hall; Montecito Bank & Trust in Camarillo and Westlake Village; the Ventura County Office of Education in Camarillo; and Premier America Credit Union in Camarillo, Westlake Village, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks.

For more information, call United Way at (805) 485-6288.

Hector Gonzalez

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