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United Way of San Benito County wants all children in San Benito County to start the school year off with everything they need to succeed, so for the second year, United Way’s “Stuff the Bus” project will collect backpacks, school supplies, and donations to help low-income and homeless children around the county start school prepared. The supplies are distributed through the San Benito County Office of Education. Last year, this event collected more than 100 backpacks filled with school supplies. This year United Way has a goal of 500 filled backpacks.

In 2012-2013, the county Office of Education reported there were 442 children classified as homeless or in transition locally. It also reported that more than 55 percent San Benito County children qualified for free and reduced priced meals, for 2013-2014.

This year’s sponsors are: Go-Kids, Inc.,Pacific Scientific, Raegan and Seth Twisselman, Ferriera/Kunz Teams, Union Bank, Jim Fosdick/State Farm Insurance, Wells Fargo Bank, Wells Fargo Mortgage, Graniterock, Diane and Larry Barr, Deborah Harter/Platinum Real Estate, Brent Redmond Transportation, Hollister Collision, Janice Wagy, Karen Fink/Remax, Tiffany Ford Motor Company, Calera Wine Company, Shelton Insurance Services, Hogue Bros. Collistion, Calvista Insurance and Rabobank.

Community members are encouraged to donate new school supplies at YMCA, Target, Round Table Pizza, Union Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Enterprise Martial Arts, Rabobank, and the Hollister United Way Office. Donations can also can also be made to fund a filled backpack on the website

The campaign runs until August 9, when volunteers will gather at the Target parking lot in Hollister to “Stuff the Bus” with donated school supplies.

To learn more including list of needed items, to volunteer, or donate online, visit or contact coordinator Vicki Fortino at