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Peoples’ Self-Help Housing Ready to ‘Stuff the Bus’ with Toys for Low-Income Children

Santa Claus will make his sixth annual “Stuff the Bus” parade ride down State Street in Santa Barbara at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18 to collect hundreds of unwrapped gifts for 500 children from low-income families living at Peoples’ Self-Help Housing’s affordable housing properties on the South Coast.

Gift receptacle boxes are now in place for community members to place donations of new unwrapped toys (ages newborn to 11 years), wrapping paper or gift cards for teens (i.e., for clothing, shoes or books). Boxes will be collected on Monday, Dec. 16 for distribution on Wednesday, Dec. 18 following Santa’s parade.

Receptacle boxes are located at agency offices at 26 E. Victoria St. in Santa Barbara or 3533 Empleo St. in San Luis Obispo. Boxes are also 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 and MTD Santa Barbara.

On the Dec. 18 parade day, Santa and Ms. Claus will travel in a decorated MTD bus, escorted by the Santa Barbara Police Department, 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.

Santa’s bus ride will end about 10:30 a.m. at Peoples’ Self-Help Housing’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. Wrapped gifts for 500 children are then transported to PSHH affordable rental complexes in time for holiday celebrations.

“Peoples’ Self-Help Housing’s Stuff the Bus campaign collects and distributes holiday gifts for low-income kids," event co-chair Vicki Young 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.”

Sponsors include 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, Hotel Santa Barbara, Starbucks, Marshalls, Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics, ParentClick.com, Rincon Broadcasting/KTMS Radio/KTYD, Ayers Automotive, the Santa Barbara Police Department and others.

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 sponsor a collection box, contact Monica Scholl at Peoples’ Self-Help Housing at 26 E. Victoria St. in Santa Barbara, by phone at 805.699.7220 or email [email protected]. Cash donations are accepted by clicking here or by texting “BUS” on your Smartphone and the code.

— Rochelle Rose is the fund development director for Peoples' Self-Help Housing.

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