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. Each year the AVTA Stuff-a-Bus Holiday Toy Drive collects donations of new unwrapped toys, clothing, and gifts for children ages 0-18.
For more than 22 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 all-electric 40-foot bus to the roof. There will be two collection event opportunities to donate to the Stuff-a-Bus this year, beginning with the West Palmdale Walmart on Sunday, December 6, and also the West Lancaster Walmart on Sunday, December 13. The Stuff-a-Bus will be collecting gifts between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on both days. Stuff-a-Bus donation boxes are also located at the AVTA office in Lancaster and at the Kaiser Permanente facilities in Lancaster and Palmdale.
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, Children’s Bureau, Antelope Valley Partners for Health, the Child and Family Guidance Center, and the Marco & Sandra Johnson Foundation.
This year’s Stuff-a-Bus toy distribution will be upgraded by combining it with a drive-thru Christmas food giveaway at AVTA’s Lancaster office on Sunday, December 20. Local families will receive Christmas meal supplies in addition to toys and gifts for their children. Participating Stuff-a-Bus non-profit organizations will also be distributing toys and gifts to their patrons at this event. AVTA’s goal is to provide thousands of Christmas meals to the families of the Antelope Valley as well as to the patrons of our Stuff-A-Bus participating charities.
Nearly 25 businesses helped AVTA to raise $23,000 to help purchase toys and gifts for the holiday drive.
"The generosity of our major sponsors, such as Crazy Otto's Diner, Duke Engineering, BYD Motors, Transdev, New Flyer / MCI, High Desert Medical Group, and OpSec Security makes a huge impact in the lives of many local families," said AVTA Board Chairman Marvin Crist. "We also want to thank Avail Technologies, Complete Coach Works, Kaiser Permanente, The McKeon Group, Mission Bank, Palmdale Elementary Teachers Association, and The Weideman Group, whose contributions will help make AVTA’s Stuff-a-Bus a huge success."
"AVTA is committed to partnering with the community each holiday season, bringing joy to those in need," continued Chairman Crist. "The key to our success is our staff, volunteers, local residents, and sponsors, all working together with the goal of helping kids."
AVTA provides local, commuter and dial-a-ride service to a population of more than 475,000 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.