Stuff the Bus

Stuff the Bus 2023 - August 10-13, 2023

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United Way SLO County is proud to announce the launch of our annual Stuff the Bus event - a Back-To-School drive to gather essential backpacks and school supplies to help ensure that all youth in our community start the new school year prepared. 

More than ever, many local students and teachers are in need of the supplies necessary to begin the year successfully. Last year over 4,000 students in need received donated supplies countywide, but there were still over 1,000 students in need of supplies. For the past 14 years we have partnered with many local school districts to get these school supplies to the kids and families who need them most.  That process will continue this year as well. 

Our goal for this school year is to raise $60,000 in donated school supplies and sponsorships.

Thank you for helping us Stuff the Bus!

Bus Dates and Times:

  • Thursday, August 10, 2023 - 3:00pm-6:00pm (Paso site only)
  • Friday, August 11, 2023 - 10:00am-6:00pm
  • Saturday, August 12, 2023 - 10:00am-6:00pm
  • Sunday, August 13, 2023 - 10:00am-3:00pm

5 Bus Site Locations Countywide:

  • Walmart in Arroyo Grande, 1168 W Branch St.
  • Walmart in Paso Robles, 180 Niblick Rd.
  • Staples in SLO, 2950 Broad St.
  • Staples in Atascadero, 815 El Camino Real.
  • Cookie Crock in Cambria, 1240 Knollwood Circle


2023 15th Annual Stuff the Bus Sponsorship Opportunities

Click to download the Sponsorship Packet


Click to download the Workplace Collection Site Toolkit & Packet

The public is encouraged to drop off donated school supplies at our Workplace Collection sites listed below!

Dignity Health, French Hospital Medical Center-1911 Johnson Ave, San Luis Obispo

Coastal Pediatric Dentistry-620 California Blvd STE G, San Luis Obispo

1st Capitol Bank-599 Higuera St STE B, San Luis Obispo

Mechanics Bank-899 W Grand Ave, Grover Beach

Catherine Riedstra - State Farm Insurance Agent- 3591 Sacramento Dr., Ste. 114, San Luis Obispo

Murphy Bank- 892 Aerovista Pl #110, San Luis Obispo

Lubrizol Advanced Materials- 3115 Propeller Dr, Paso Robles

Verizon at San Luis Obispo-994 Mill St, San Luis Obispo

California Fresh Market- 555 5 Cities Dr, Pismo Beach




Check out these great features from our media sponsor!!



Thank you to American General Media for sponsoring our Radio PSAs!



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    Mechanics logo        


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BRONZE LEVEL                                                                Madonna logo  Coastal Pediatrics1 capital logo


  Murphy Bank logo  State Farm logo

                                                                      Catherine Riedstra

Why is this important?

In 2019, the number of homeless people throughout San Luis Obispo County increased by 32% with at least 10% being children.  In 2020-21, 45% of San Luis Obispo County students were eligible for free/reduced price meals (  Research based upon the U.S. Department of Education and the 2013 U.S. Census, reflects 2.5 million children in America-one in every 30 children-go to sleep without a home each year.  

Stuff the Bus helps ease the financial burden placed upon our families, promotes learning, encourages self-esteem and helps kids stay in school. Students who receive backpacks and supplies are those who are considered low income, socioeconomically disadvantaged or homeless — they live in shelters, motels, sheds, garages and other places not originally meant for human habitation.

The impact of homelessness on children, especially young children, is devastating and may lead to changes in brain architecture that can affect learning, emotional self regulation, cognitive skills, and social relationships.  Homeless children are more likely than other children to experience hunger and malnutrition, and to develop physical and mental health problems (2). Emotional distress, developmental delays, and decreased academic achievement are also more common among this population (2). Many of these children and youth experience deep poverty, family instability, and exposure to domestic violence before becoming homeless, and homelessness increases their vulnerability to additional trauma (1, 2). In addition to the risks faced by homeless children, including increased vulnerability to sexual exploitation, youth without homes are far more likely than their peers to be infected with HIV and have other serious health problems (2, 3, 4).

With the support of local partners, volunteers, and members of our community, Stuff the Bus collects supplies such as backpacks, binders, pens/pencils, and notebooks to distribute throughout the county located in five school districts (PRJUSD, AUSD, SLCUSD, LMUSD and Coast USD). 

1.  Bassuk, E. L., et al. (2014). America’s youngest outcasts: A report card on child homelessness. National Center on Family Homelessness. Retrieved from:

2.  American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Community Pediatrics. (2013). Providing care for children and adolescents facing homelessness and housing insecurity. Pediatrics, 131(6), 1206-1210. Retrieved from:

3.  Walker, K. (2013). Ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children: A call for multi-system collaboration in California. California Child Welfare Council. Retrieved from:

4.  California Homeless Youth Project. (2014). HIV and youth homelessness: Housing as health care. Retrieved from:

5.  National Center for Homeless Education. (2017). Federal data summary school years 2013-14 to 2015-16: Education for homeless children and youth. Retrieved from: