2018 Drive for Backpacks for the Homeless

Once again, we are supporting alumni parent, Ann Martin’s (aka Bussone), efforts to provide much needed personal care and comfort items to individuals experiencing homelessness in Pasadena. We would like to extend her invitation out to the CEC community to participate in this meaningful project. Please see below to read Ann's letter and view a full list of the items she is hoping to collect.

We will have boxes in the Oak Grove and Co-op offices, as well as in the Dolphin room for families to drop off donations. Thank you for paying it forward this holiday season!

Her message:

I invite you to join me in the SIXTH annual drive to provide holiday backpacks for the homeless in the Pasadena area.  Thank you so much to all of you who continue to participate and a warm welcome to those of you who are new. Every year I am so touched by the amazing generosity of my friends, colleagues and family!  We all have so much to be thankful for and I appreciate you all paying it forward by contributing something to those who survive on so little.

Thanks to your overwhelming generosity, last year we were able to distribute 45 backpacks and sleeping bags filled with necessities for homeless women and men in our community.  When we ran out, we had extra gift cards that we were able to hand out so nobody left empty-handed. Your contributions really make a difference. Sadly, the problem of homelessness continues to grow.  With rents soaring, we are seeing many more seniors and families being displaced. 

This year I have purchased 50 backpacks to fill with things that the homeless can use to make their lives a little better.  In an attempt to try to make this more convenient for you during this busy time of year I have put together a Wish List on Amazon of items we need.  You can just go to the link and pick out what you want to donate and order it online at 


Or if prefer to order online from another source you can have your donation shipped to my address at 525 N Michillinda Ave., Pasadena 91107.  If you enjoy getting out to the stores and shopping (99 cent store and Target are great options).  I am happy to come to your home or office to pick up any donations you wish to make. I plan to distribute the backpacks during the week of Christmas.  Suggested items are listed below.  Small denomination food gift cards to McDonalds are not available on Amazon, but are much appreciated, as are donated items of clothing!  Subway gift cards are available and you can buy purchase them at the above link.

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I want you all to know the impact you are having in the community!  I am so thankful to have such wonderful people like you in my life. Thank you for your consideration and, of course, no pressure to participate!

Love, Ann

With additional appreciation from Elyssa!

Needed Items 

  • Sweatshirts

  • T-shirts

  • Face towels

  • Underwear

  • Knit caps

  • Baseball caps

  • Socks

  • Paperback Books

  • Playing cards

  • Blankets (no aluminum blankets because they need to not stand out when sleeping)

  • Chapstick

  • Antibacterial ointment

  • Pre-paid phones

  • Energy bars

  • Nail clippers

  • Soap

  • Shampoo

  • Razors

  • Shaving cream

  • Combs

  • Brushes

  • Deodorant

  • Lotion

  • Gift certificates to Subway or McDonalds

  • Bus tokens

  • Toothbrushes (soft bristles)

  • Toothpaste