School on Wheels Press Contact
Sinead Chilton

For Immediate Release 



Not many people know this but April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month!


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 64 million people volunteered at least once between September 2010 and September 2011. The Corporation for National and Community Service says has collectively dedicated 8.1 billion volunteer hours to a wide variety of organizations. That donated time and expertise is valued at $173 billion. Talk about economic impact!


One of the greatest aspects of volunteerism is that there are so many different ways to help, at School on Wheels volunteers are trained and matched with homeless children, and then meet them weekly to help them with homework and school.  In 2013 School on Wheels had the privileage of working with over 1,700 volunteers.

From left to right: Merina Mesa, Janet Lang, Jenn Urick, Jon Tomlin, Donna Susskind, Catherine Meek & Matt Raab


On Monday April 7th 2014, School on Wheels President of the Board, Jon Tomlin, officially kicked off Volunteer Appreciation Month at School on Wheels by presenting Presidential Service Awards to six staff members; Catherine Meek (Executive Director), Merina Mesa and Donna Susskind all received Gold Presidential Service Awards for donating more than 500 hours in 2013 and Janet Lang.  Matt Raab and Jennifer Urick each received a bronze medal for donating over 100 hours. 


"I am very honored to be among this amazing group of volunteers and staff.  The work you do for the homeless children in our community inspires me every day and I am proud to work with such a dedicated and passionate group of people." - School on Wheels President of the Board of Directors, Jon Tomlin


During the month of April, over 160 School on Wheels volunteers will be awarded with Presidential Service Awards.  For a full list of awardees please visit their volunteer page -



About the Presidential Service Awards




School on Wheels, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1993 by Agnes Stevens, a retired teacher. After reading Jonathan Kozol's Rachel and her Children, Agnes realized the extent of homelessness in the USA. She began tutoring homeless kids in a park in Santa Monica, encouraging them to stay in school and participate in school activities.

Today, hundreds of volunteers work one-on-one with children whose homelessness prevents them from receiving the academic stability and help they desperately need. The heart of the School on Wheels' program is the volunteer tutors who come from all backgrounds and professions, with a shared goal - to reach out to a child, to teach, to mentor, and assist in his or her educational life. 
The mission of School on Wheels is to enhance educational opportunities for homeless children from kindergarten through twelfth grade.  The goal is to shrink the gaps in their education and provide them with the highest level of education possible.  Their program serves as a consistent support system to homeless students at a time of great stress and fear.  School on Wheels brings the message to homeless students that they are cared about and important. They do this by offering: 
  •         One-on-one weekly tutoring with a volunteer
  •         Backpacks, school supplies and school uniforms
  •         A toll-free number for kids to keep in touch with us
  •         (800-923-1100)
  •         Assistance in entering school
  •         Help in locating lost records
  •         Guidance for parents in educational matters for their children
  •         Two Learning Centers
  •         Tutoring in seven major regions in Southern California, including Los Angeles,Orange, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.


School on Wheels, Inc.

Sinead Chilton


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For more information please contact Sinead Chilton (805) 641-1678 or email