Santa Claus will make his sixth annual “Stuff the Bus” parade ride down State Street in Santa Barbara at 10 a.m. next Wednesday, Dec. 14, to collect hundreds of unwrapped gifts for 400 children from low-income families living at Peoples’ Self-Help Housing’s affordable housing properties from Santa Barbara to Goleta.
Santa will travel in a decorated Santa Barbara MTD bus, escorted by the Santa Barbara Police Department, and make stops to pick up toys and gift cards at collection box locations. This year’s “official Santa stops” are Community West Bank, Marshalls, Paseo Nuevo Mall, Starbucks and Hotel Santa Barbara.
Sponsors are Paseo Nuevo/La Cumbre Plaza, Montecito Bank & Trust, Community West Bank, Citrix Online, Santa Barbara MTD, the Santa Barbara Police Department, Italia Restaurant, Rincon Broadcasting, the Santa Barbara News-Press, Ayers Automotive Repairs and others.
Elected officials, sponsor VIPs, children and Peoples’ staff will hop on the bus at Community West Bank at State and Micheltorena streets. The ride will end about 10:30 a.m. at PSHH’s Ladera Apartments in Westside Santa Barbara, where more than 40 volunteers will participate in sorting and wrapping the toys and gift cards from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Gifts for 400 children are then transported to PSHH affordable rental complexes for distribution to the kids.
Kate Schwab is this year’s chairmwoman of the sixth annual Stuff the Bus holiday gift campaign. Well-known in the Santa Barbara community, Schwab is assistant manager of marketing and customer service at MTD and was the manager at the downtown Borders for 13 years. She served on the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization for 10 years and currently serves as an ambassador for the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce.
“Peoples’ Self-Help Housing’s Stuff the Bus campaign collects and distributes holiday gifts for low-income kids,” Schwab said. “This is always a challenge, but together we can make a difference. For many of these children, these are the only gifts that they receive at this time of year.”
If you would like donate, sponsor a collection box or drop off a toy, contact Monica Scholl at Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, 26 E. Victoria St. in Santa Barbara, call 805.962.5152 x220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 1,350 affordable rental units in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties. It has also provided first-time homeownership opportunities for more than 1,150 working families. PSHH is the leading affordable housing developer on the Central Coast with offices in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.
— Rochelle Rose is the fund development director for Peoples’ Self-Help Housing.