Earlier this month volunteers collected toys, jackets, gift cards, blankets and school supplies, for the annual “Stuff the Bus for Kid’s Sake” put together by the Manteca Unified School District, Manteca Senior Center and the Parks and Recreation Department’s Youth Advisory Commission.
You may have seen the big yellow bus parked right in front of the Manteca Wal-Mart collecting gifts or perhaps you’ve seen the barrels designated for stuff the bus donations set out around town but were unable to drop off your gift donation at that time. If that’s the case there is no need to worry because donations are still being collect this week.
All the children benefitting from your bus-stuffing-donation were selected by the school district and will be invited by the City of Manteca to a delightful Christmas event held at the Manteca Senior Center where a special holiday meal will be prepared and children will be presented with gifts.
“The children selected submit a wish list of things that they would need or want for Christmas and we try to accommodate each wish list as best as possible” says Senior Center Recreation Supervisor, Brandy Clark.
Clark along with many senior center volunteers will host the Christmas party for the majority of the families with younger children while “the rest of the families selected will be receiving gifts that will be delivered by Santa’s ground crew the week of December 21.”
The many referrals Clark received for children and families in need this holiday season came from the Manteca Unified School District as well as the non-profit organization, LOVE INC. Although donations collected at the “Stuff the Bus” event and from the barrels throughout town have been significant, Clark admits that there are still a few items needed.
Due to the children’s wish lists requiring specific sizes for clothing and shoe wear, Clark encourages those who are inclined to participate in the event, to donate gift cards which will allow families to pick out the correct sizes of clothing and shoes needed.
The items still needed to complete “Stuff the Bus for Kid’s Sake” include the following brand new: Toys, pajamas, coats, socks, underwear, hoodie sweatshirts for teens, clothing and shoes which again would be best given in gift cards that can easily be purchased at one of the local clothing stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, K-mart or Payless Shoe Store.
As you finish up your own personal Christmas shopping for family, friends and co-workers this next week, keep in mind that there are still a few items on the wish list for children in the community. Items that are not just wants but actual needs. In other words, the bus needs just a little more stuffing for the kids sake so if you are able, make a child’s Christmas wish come true and donate gift or two.
For more information about where to drop off donation or for information on volunteering contact Brandy Clark at (209) 456.8623.