By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
UWCK’s Stuff the Bus drive coming
United Way seeking items to help agencies
united way stuff the bus

United Way of Central Kansas is gearing up for its annual Stuff the Bus initiative, UWCK Executive Director Gaila Demel said. The charitable drive will take place on July 21 at locations across Barton County.

UWCK community partners and volunteers will be in Hoisington, Ellinwood and Great Bend collecting items for United Way’s 22 supported non-profit agencies. These items are used to fill backpacks for students, fill food shortages for families, and provide our Partners with the supplies they need to do their work. 

“These agencies not only need money, they need supplies,” Demel said. This annual event provides much needed items to support them.

“It is the hard work and generous volunteerism from the Community Partners and other agencies that give their time and help encourage shoppers to pick up various supplies to ‘stuff the Bus,’” Demel said. “I would just encourage everyone to consider how easy it is to pick up a few items on our list that will keep the shelves full, help students with needed school supplies and continue supporting our community partners.”

Wish list

Here are what the entities taking part in Stuff the Bus are looking for:

• School supplies to fill backpacks and stock classrooms

• Cleaning supplies

• Personal Hygiene products

• Infant/child care basics

• Non-perishable snacks/drinks

• Senior products

The items requested are used to stock backpacks for students in need, items for the non-food pantry at Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas, toiletry supplies for Family Crisis Center, as well as supplies for the individual agencies to use throughout the year to help keep expenses down, Demel said. School supplies donated will not only support local backpack programs, but also be distributed to the school districts to have additional supplies on hand throughout the year.

The schedule

Stuff the Bus locations and times on July 21 include:

• In Great Bend – Wal Mart and both Dillons locations from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Items collected will benefit Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas, ElderCare, Cental Kansas CASA backpack program, Salvation Army backpack program, Family Crisis Center, all UWCK partners and USD 428 schools.

• In Hoisington – Town and Country Supermarket and Dollar General from 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Items collected will benefit the Hoisington Food Bank, USD 431 and UWCK partners.

• In Ellinwood  – Ellinwood Family Foods and Dollar General from 5-7 p.m.

Items collected will benefit Ellinwood Heritage Senior Center, USD 355 and UWCK partners.

United Way of Central Kansas’ partner agencies include Barton County Young Men’s Organization, Barton County Youth Care, Caring Hands Daycare, Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas, Central Kansas CASA, Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation of Kansas, Child Abuse Prevention Education, Ellinwood Heritage Senior Center, ElderCare, Family Crisis Center, Girl Scouts of the Heartland, Great Bend Children’s Learning Center, Habitat for Humanity, Hoisington Commission on Aging, Hoisington Community Food Bank, Hoisington History Museum, Hoisington Toys for Tots, Immediate Intervention Programs, Meals on Wheels, Orphan Grain Train, Centrl Kansas Volunteers in Action/RSVP and the Salvation Army.

Demel said they also encourage businesses to collect items beforehand and deliver them the day of the event for a photo opportunity with their “amazing volunteers.”

For more information, follow United Way of Central Kansas on Facebook, check out its website,, or call 620-792-2403. 

stuff the bus
Shown is Charell Owings of United Way of Central Kansas accepting donations outside the West 10th Street Dillons store during the 2020 Stuff the Bus campaign. This year’s event is set for July 21.