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Back-to-school supplies giveaway marks 10 years of helping East Bay students and families

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) — It’s back to school for many students in the Bay Area, with classes starting soon. But with inflation and rising prices, it was difficult. A student from East Bay is succeeding again this year in her ten-year commitment by distributing free school supplies to families in need.

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

“It’s a big help,” Garibay said.

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

“Coming from a low-income family, I understand what it’s like to not have a number of things to do well in school,” Wilson said.

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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 supplies are donated for Claryssa’s goodwill mission.

“Parents and families have always struggled, we have noticed an increase in these families,” she added.

Inflation makes the cost of everyday items more expensive.

“It really helps a lot, the hard times with COVID, it helps keep extra food in our family by giving us backpacks,” said mother Danica Connolly.

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“Just buying food is expensive, so school supplies are great,” said mother Norma Payton.

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

“I really enjoy community service – it’s something I want to pursue as a career,” she said.

Wilson hopes to start a nonprofit organization, its founding mission will be to continue helping families through the back-to-school season.

“Yes, we want to continue,” Wilson said.

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