Blog / Published on Dec 7, 2023

Community Transit employees fill backpacks with gifts for local students

150 backpacks delivered to students experiencing homelessness

A roomful of long tables are filled with gifts and donations ready to be wrapped for holiday giving

Pictured above: Gifts and requested items purchased by employees are bundled and stacked, ready for wrapping.

The holiday season is officially here! To get in the spirit of giving, Community Transit employees delivered 150 backpacks to high school students in need, as part of the agency’s ninth annual Giving Tree.

Community Transit partnered with schools from Everett to Mill Creek to bring holiday cheer to students in the Kids in Transition (KIT) program. KIT helps youth experiencing homelessness attend school without barriers or interruption. These students may be staying with relatives, couch surfing, or even living out of their car. Many of them are without a legal guardian. 

“I am both inspired and deeply moved by the generosity of our employees who participated in the Giving Tree. Their commitment to giving back not only reflects their compassionate spirit, but also reinforces Community Transit’s strong sense of dedication to our community,” said Ric Ilgenfritz, CEO of Community Transit, “It’s really awesome to witness our team coming together this holiday season to support local students who are in need.

Employees picked tags with gift suggestions on them from the Giving Tree and purchased these gifts to fill the student’s bags. Each backpack included items the students requested, including sports equipment, headphones, Lego sets, books, clothing, and more. The backpacks also contained gift cards to local stores and restaurants. Hygiene items like toothbrushes, soap, and deodorant were also collected to restock the schools’ family resource centers. 

The backpacks were dropped off on Dec. 7 to local schools and will be distributed to the kids before they head out on winter break, with the goal to make sure they get holiday presents this year.

Community Transit employees loaded three vans with backpacks for delivery to area high schools.