KMIR News: Aug 09, 2014
By Angela Monroe

PALM DESERT — It’s almost time for the return to school here in the valley, and that mean’s time to get the school supplies.

The Sunline Transit Agency held its first annual Pack the Bus Backpack and School Supply Drive Saturday outside of Wal-Mart in Palm Desert.

Sunline Transit Agency teamed up with the Salvation Army to help provide struggling families some relief from the high costs of back to school shopping.

With hundreds of backpacks and other school supplies being donated by local residents and business, the first annual Pack the Bus did just that.

“We want to make sure that every child has the tools that they need to receive a good education possible. We are donating all the items that we collect to the Salvation Army, and everything goes to kids locally in the Coachella Valley,” said Sunline Transit Agency public outreach specialist, Norma Stevens.

With the help of volunteers and donations from across the valley, Pack the Bus had a great first year and exceeded expectations.

“It’s been great. we have volunteers from the Salvation Army and we have a large turnout of Sunline employees donating their time,” said Stevens.

“It’s hot out here but people are coming out and they’re coming in and their passing things out and buying more than what is even expected. So, we’re excited about it,” said Lisa Mowery Jones with Salvation Army.

While some families struggle to buy groceries, school supplies get dropped on the priority list.

“There are so many families struggling right now just to put food on the table and these are extra things that families can’t afford to purchase.”

Over 200 backpacks were donated in the first few hours alone, and American Cab made the biggest contribution of the day dropping off five-hundred dollars worth of backpacks.

“I’ve been here in this community for six years and I love it. I’ve always said that about the Coachella Valley and people love to give back and they definitely love being a part of this community. It’s great,” said Steven Williams with American Cab.

All backpacks and school supplies donated will be given out on Friday, August 15th, just in time for the start of the school year.