Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus made their sixth annual “Stuff the Bus” parade ride down State Street in Santa Barbara on Wednesday, collecting hundreds of gifts for 500 children from low-income families living at Peoples’ Self-Help Housing’s affordable housing properties on the South Coast.
On parade day, Santa and Mrs. Claus travel in a decorated MTD bus, escorted by the Santa Barbara Police Department’s classic black and white 1957 Chevy. The parade started at Community West Bank’s parking lot at 1501 State St., making stops to pick up toys and gift cards at selected collection boxes locations, such as Community West Bank, Starbucks at State and Victoria streets, Marshalls and Hotel Santa Barbara.
Riding the bus that morning was Rep. Lois Capps, Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, Santa Barbara City Councilwoman Cathy Murrillo, Santa Barbara Police Chief Cam Sanchez, MTD Executive Director Sherrie Fisher, the Downtown Organization’s Kate Schwab, Montecito Bank & Trust CEO Janet Garufis, Community West Bank CEO Marty Plourd and many other sponsors.
Santa’s bus ride ended about 10:30 a.m. at PSHH’s Ladera Apartments in Westside Santa Barbara, where more than 40 volunteers sorted and wrapped the toys and gift cards, which were then transported to PSHH affordable rental complexes in time for holiday celebrations.
Sponsors included the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, MTD Santa Barbara, Montecito Bank & Trust, Community West Bank, Citrix Online, Pacific Western Bank, Gray & Troy Insurance, MarBorg Industries, Javier Ortiz, Hotel Santa Barbara, Starbucks, Advanced Vetinary Specialists, Marshalls, Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics, ParentClick.com, Rincon Broadcasting/KTMS Radio/KTYD, Efren Fajardo Painting, NuAge Ad Group, McCarty Electric, Ayers Automotive, the Santa Barbara Police Department and others.
Toys had been donated in receptacle boxes located at Union Bank and Community West branch offices, all 10 local Starbucks, Granada Books, Wells Fargo Bank, Pacific Western Bank, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Saks Fifth Avenue, the YMCA, the Downtown Organization, Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners, Ayers Automotive, Marshalls, Fresco Café’ at Five Points, Montecito Bank & Trust, Hotel Santa Barbara, MTD Santa Barbara and many others.
“Peoples’ Self-Help Housing’s Stuff the Bus campaign collects and distributes holiday gifts for low-income kids. This is always a challenge, but together we can make a difference," event co-chairwoman Vicki Young said. "For many of these children, these are the only gifts that they receive at this time of year.”
Peoples' Self-Help Housing provides affordable housing and programs leading to self-sufficiency for low-income families, seniors and other special-needs groups on California's Central Coast. PSHH has developed and now manages more than 1,500 affordable rental units in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties. It has also provided first-time homeownership opportunities for more than 1,200 working families. PSHH is the leading affordable housing developer on the Central Coast with offices in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.
If you would like to donate or volunteer, contact Monica Scholl at Peoples’ Self-Help Housing at 26 E. Victoria St. in Santa Barbara, by phone at 805.699.7220 or by email at email@example.com. Cash donations are accepted online by clicking here, or text “BUS” to 51400 to donate immediately.
— Rochelle Rose is the fund development director for Peoples' Self-Help Housing.