Back-to-school supply giveaway marks 10 years helping East Bay student, families

ByCornell Barnard via KGO logo
Sunday, August 7, 2022 12:54AM
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A free annual school supply giveaway is back in Antioch, organized for the past 10 years by 21-year-old Claryssa Wilson with the help of volunteers.

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) -- It's back-to-school for many students across the Bay Area with classes starting soon. But with inflation and rising prices, that's been tough. An East Bay college student is making good again this year on her decade long commitment giving away free school supplies to families who need them.

Diana Garibay is ready for 7th grade now that she has the school supplies she needs to succeed.

"It's a big help," said Garibay.

Everything from notebooks to rulers and glue sticks are part of Stuff the Bus, a free annual school supply giveaway at Deer Valley High School in Antioch, organized for the past 10 years by 21-year-old Claryssa Wilson with the help of volunteers.

"Coming from a low-income family, I understand what it's like to not have a certain amount of things to succeed in school," said Wilson.

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Claryssa organized her first supply giveaway when she was in 6th grade after realizing some classmates didn't have the tools they needed.

Thousands of backpacks are here, all the supplies are donated for Claryssa's goodwill mission.

"Parents and families have always struggled we've noticed an increase in those families," she added.

Inflation is making cost of everyday items more expensive.

"This is really helping a lot, hard times with COVID, this is helping keep extra food in our family by giving us backpacks," said parent Danica Connolly.

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"Just to buy food is expensive, so the school supplies are great," said parent Norma Payton.

Claryssa is now a senior at San Diego State University with some big plans ahead.

"I have a strong love for community service - it's something I want to make a career out of doing," she said.

Wilson hopes to start a nonprofit, her founding mission will be to continue helping families during back-to-school season.

"Yes, we want to keep it going," Wilson said.

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