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Zum Bus Drivers Collect and Deliver Toys to Families in Need

On Dec. 15, a group of San Francisco Unified School District bus drivers delivered hundreds of toys to local kids in need, making the holidays brighter for many of the children who they serve every day.

This is the third year the bus drivers of Smart Local 1741, San Francisco Unified School District and Zum have organized the toy drive, which kicked off December 9th with a concert and toy collection attended by 200+ bus drivers, families, teachers, paraprofessionals and other community members. Organizers included Lois Giannini, Shelby Hall, Patty Biard, Nefartari Bryant, Ashley Diaz and Angel Olmeda.

The free concert, headlined by guitarist George Whitsell, was followed by a gift-wrapping party on December 13th and culminated with delivery of the toys via Zum bus to the family homeless shelter at Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8 Community School, Downtown High School, and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

“We are in the third year of our holiday toy drive, and with every passing year I am blown away by the amount of generosity, spirit and time this bus driver community dedicates,” said Lois Giannini, the organizer of the toy collection and a bus driver for more than 28 years. “We care so deeply about the children we take to and from school every day. Seeing the joy on their faces when they open their toys is the best gift of all. We will do this for years to come and invite everyone to participate next year too!”

The drivers said they came up with the toy drive because they wanted to do more for local children who do not have what they need.

Through their work, bus drivers become deeply involved with the families they serve, and they work tirelessly to get children, many with special needs, to and from school safely every day.

Perhaps these drivers’ efforts will spark similar events in more cities – and inspire others to find ways to bring extra cheer to their communities this holiday season.