Children, teens and parents visited The Salvation Army’s Santa Clarita Valley Corps on Thursday to pick up bags loaded with school supplies during the organization’s annual “Stuff the Bus” campaign.
“Whether kids are at school in the building or at home, they’re going to need supplies,” Corps Officer Laura Bloom said.
While the event got off to a slow start, by noon, all of the bags had been donated.
Typically, the organization would allow families to shop for themselves, but with COVID restrictions, Bloom and volunteers made pre-filled bags instead, which were assembled by grade level.
Each bag was filled with needed school supplies — including notebooks, paper, pen and pencils — with older kids getting flash drives, while younger kids received crayons and markers, as well.
“It’s not totally doing it for everyone, but it’s helping,” Bloom added.
Collecting donations also was slow, but the corps collected enough to donate to around 35 families, many of whom had more than one child.
“We just want to be here for whoever needs it,” Bloom said.
Through the pandemic, The Salvation Army has continued to provide residents with vital services, including a food pantry and clothes closet.
Instead of allowing recipients to shop, pre-packaged food boxes are available for pickup once a week, while perishables are offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, along with clothes and necessary hygiene products, such as masks, hand sanitizer, and diapers and wipes for those with children.
“So many people will come in and just drop stuff off,” Bloom added, regarding donations. “They just want to be a help, and it is so encouraging.”
Even so, Bloom said The Salvation Army is still in need of some much-needed items, including proteins, eggs, milk, water, produce, cereal, white rice and tomato products, along with diapers, wipes, underwear and socks.
“We could always use volunteers of all different ages,” Bloom added.
The Salvation Army Santa Clarita Valley Corps is located at 22935 Lyons Ave. in Newhall.
To learn more about volunteering, visit santaclarita.salvationarmy.org/santa_clarita_valley_corps.