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AVTA Ringing In Holiday Cheer with "Stuff-a-Bus" Toy Drive for Kids

Lancaster – Beginning this Saturday, Santa's helpers will be heard chanting "Stuff That Bus!!" and ringing their bells to make sure the children and families they serve have a much brighter holiday season. The Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) Stuff-A-Bus Holiday Toy Drive is once again collecting donations of new unwrapped toys, clothing and gifts for children ages 0-18. For more than 20 years, this annual event has brought joy to the hearts of local children in need during the holidays by collecting enough toys and clothes to fill their specially decorated allelectric 40-foot bus to the roof. There will be two opportunities to donate to the Stuff-a-Bus this year, beginning with the West Palmdale Walmart on Sunday, December 2, and also the West Lancaster Walmart on Sunday, December 9. The Stuff-a-Bus will be collecting gifts between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on both days.

All items donated will stay here in the Antelope Valley, and will benefit children from Grace Resource Center, South Antelope Valley Emergency Services of Palmdale (SAVES), Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley, Antelope Valley Partners for Health, the Child and Family Guidance Center and the Marco & Sandra Johnson Foundation.

Nearly 30 businesses helped AVTA to raise $22,000 to help purchase toys and gifts for the holiday drive. "The generosity of our major sponsors Walmart, BYD, Transdev, High Desert Medical Group, Learn4Life, Avail Technologies, Lancaster Jethawks, and OpSec Security makes a huge impact in the lives of many local families," said AVTA Board Chair Marvin Crist. "We also want to thank Duke Engineering, Taft Electric, Granite Construction and Kaiser Permanente, whose contributions will help make AVTA’s Stuff-a-Bus a huge success."

This year, the transit agency wants to “Stuff That Bus!” with more donations than ever before, and will be kicking off the toy drive on Saturday, December 1, by taking part in the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce "Sleigh Rides through the City" Christmas Parade. On Sunday, December 2, the West Palmdale Walmart will host the Stuff-a-Bus in front of its store on 10th Street West. Radio stations KGMX and KTPI will be broadcasting live from the event, with holiday music and free giveaways between 12:00 and 4:00 p.m.

On Saturday, December 9, the AVTA Stuff-a-Bus will also be participating in the Palmdale Chamber of Commerce "Have a MARVEL-ous Christmas" parade, with its final collection event at the West Lancaster Walmart the following day. Donations may also be dropped off at the AVTA office during regular business hours, Monday - Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

To further enhance the holiday season for all Antelope Valley residents, AVTA will be giving back to the community even more, by providing a new pair of socks for the homeless for every new unwrapped toy, gift or clothing item donated to the Stuff-a-Bus toy drive.

“This is the perfect time of year to bring the magic of the holidays to others,” said AVTA CEO Macy Neshati. “We provide a service to the community every day, but the holidays are when we try to do something special for those who need it most. It’s AVTA’s way of promoting goodwill and caring within the community.”

AVTA provides local, commuter and dial-a-ride service to a population of more than 450,000 residents in the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale as well as the unincorporated portions of northern Los Angeles County. Its total service area covers 1,200 square miles and it is bounded by the Kern County line to the north, the San Bernardino County line to the east, the Angeles National Forest to the south, and Interstate 5 to the West.