SLO County charities need donations this holiday season. Here’s how to help

Charities, agencies and nonprofit organizations work hard year after year to help children, families and others in need in San Luis Obispo County.

“The pandemic has subsided, but lingering effects in its wake still influence food insecurity and the SLO Food Bank,” SLO Food Bank spokesperson Branna Still told The Tribune, pointing to a reduction in the CALFresh program the resumption of school loan repayments for many people.

Most local groups say that monetary donations are the safest and easiest way to give.

“We are grateful to the community for their support, whether it be time, food, or a financial donation,” Still added. “But, if someone wanted to make the most significant difference in alleviating hunger for our neighbors in need, it would be through a monetary donation.”

Volunteers for charities are also needed and appreciated.

Here are some of the many local groups that could use a helping hand in 2023.

SLO Food Bank

What: The SLO Food Bank’s mission is to work with a network of community partners to alleviate hunger in San Luis Obispo County and build a healthier community.

In 2022, the SLO Food Bank served an average over 31,500 individuals every month through its Neighborhood Food Distributions, Senior Home Delivery Program, farmers markets, and its hunger-relief network of over 80 other nonprofit agency partners.

Additionally, food rescue programs like GleanSLO prevented over a million pounds of food from being wasted. Instead, this safe, nutritious rescued food was redirected to nourish tens of thousands of hungry neighbors.

When monetary donations are made to the SLO Food Bank, the group exercises its bulk purchasing power to procure a significantly greater quantity of food as compared to the amount food local residents could purchase.

You can donate online at or mail or drop off a check at the main office in San Luis Obispo.

Where: 1180 Kendall Road, San Luis Obispo

When: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday

Info: 805-238-4664 or

Children’s Resource Network of the Central Coast

What: The Children’s Resource Network of the Central Coast (CRNCC) serves more than 35,000 children annually, in conjunction with participating agencies and school districts. Two toy giveaways benefit about 5,000 children.

CRNCC is accepting new children’s clothing, diapers, blankets and school supplies, as well as new holiday toys for children and gifts for tweens and teens.

Monetary donations can be made through the CRNCC Paypal page. Check the Children’s Resource Network website for dropoff locations for clothing and school supplies.

CRNCC also is partnering with the California Highway Patrol’s CHiPs for Kids Program.

It will be at Walmart in Arroyo Grande and Santa Maria with CHP officers on Dec. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Free Christmas Toy Giveaways are Dec. 23 in Grover Beach at the California State Parks dirt lot on Grand Avenue and Highway 1 and Dec. 24 at Alvin Elementary School in Santa Maria.

The toy giveaways are first come, first serve. Children receiving the gifts must be present. Hours are yet to be determined, but the events will be held in the early morning.

Contact Lisa Ray for details at

Info: 805-709-8673 or

CHP CHiPs for Kids Toy Giveaway

What: Local San Luis Obispo County CHP offices are collecting new, unwrapped toys this holiday season. The goal of the CHiPs for Kids annual toy drive is to continue to build a positive relationship between law enforcement and young children, to develop trust, and help ensure children enjoy the holiday season. They will collect new, unwrapped toys up to Dec. 22.

Where: Donation dropoff points are at the San Luis Obispo CHP office, 675 California Blvd., the Templeton CHP office, 101 Duncan Road, and the SLO CHP Coastal Division office, 4115 Broad Street B-110, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact CHP Coastal Division area office 805-706-3303

ALF Food Pantry

What: ALF Food Pantry — formerly Atascadero Loaves & Fishes — distributes groceries and other household items essential to those in need. Clients must be located in Atascadero, Templeton, Santa Margarita, Creston or California Valley. ALF Food Pantry partners with KSBY’s Season of Hope.

The pantry is once again accepting in-kind food donations, except no stone fruit, glass containers or outdated food. Please deliver your donation on Tuesdays or Fridays from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

You can donate money online by visiting the ALF Food Pantry donation page or directly at its PayPal link. Send a check by mail or drop off your donation at the ALF office.

Where: 5411 El Camino Real, Atascadero

When: 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Closed weekends and all major holidays

Info: 805-461-1504 or email

El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO)

What: The El Camino Homeless Organization offers services out of campuses in Paso Robles and Atascadero to meet the needs of families and individuals transitioning from homelessness to housing. ECHO’s mission since 2001 is to empower people in SLO County to make positive change by providing food, shelter, and supportive services.

The main items needed are socks, sleeping bags, long underwear and unisex sweatpants or sweatshirts. Check our website for a list of all needed items. Volunteers are also needed.

To make a monetary donation, visit the secure online ECHO donation page or mail checks to P.O. Box 2077, Atascadero, CA 93423.

Where: 6370 Atascadero Avenue, Atascadero, or 1134 Black Oak Drive, Paso Robles

Info: 805-462-3663 or

Salvation Army

What: The Salvation Army accepts monetary donations, as well as new toys, clothing, shoes, food, and hygienic items at its San Luis Obispo location. They also need frozen turkeys for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

To apply for the Salvation Army Angel Tree program visit to register for the toy giveaway and family gift baskets that will be distributed on Dec. 19 and 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 815 Islay Street in San Luis Obispo.

The Salvation Army urgently needs volunteer bell ringers this year. The bell-ringing campaign runs from Nov. 18 to Dec. 23.

Salvation Army of San Luis Obispo

Where: 815 Islay St., San Luis Obispo

When: Call for hours of operation. Closed weekends and all major holidays.

Info: 805-544-2401 or

Salvation Army of Atascadero

Where: 8420 El Camino Real, Unit G, Atascadero

When: Call for hours of operation. Closed weekends and all major holidays.

Info: 805-466-7201

Salvation Army of Arroyo Grande

Where: 1550 West Branch Street, Arroyo Grande

When: Call for hours of operation. Closed weekends and all major holidays.

Info: 805-481-0278

Salvation Army of Morro Bay

Where: 540 Quintana Road, Morro Bay

When: Call for hours of operation. Closed weekends and all major holidays.

Info: 805-772-7062

Salvation Army of Paso Robles

Where: 711 Paso Robles St, Paso Robles

When: Call for hours of operation.. Closed weekend and all major holidays.

Info: 805-238-9591

Loaves & Fishes

What: Loaves & Fishes is a family center that specializes in serving families with food and other services through personal attention. We serve the working poor, young parents trying to make ends meet and elderly folks living on a fixed income. Our highest goal is “to serve people well by providing the best quality food, just as we would provide to our own families, and caring for people, as we care for our own families.”

All support comes from the community. We are not funded by government grants. Making a monetary donation is the most helpful.

You can donate online via the Loaves and Fishes website, or drop off a monetary donation during business hours. Mail checks to P.O. Box 1720, Paso Robles, CA 93447.

Where: 2650 Spring St., Paso Robles

When: Noon to 2 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday. and Wednesday 5:30 to 7 p.m. We’re closed on Friday, holidays, and weekends.

Info: 805-238-4742 or

KSBY Season of Hope

What: KSBY-TV has teamed up with local food banks, toy agencies, fire departments, the CHP and sponsors for its 11th year of what it says is the largest community-wide food and toy drive on the Central Coast. Check the KSBY Season of Hope website for a list of local San Luis Obispo County drop-off agencies. The drive runs through Dec. 15.

If you would like to be a recipient of Season of Hope, please contact a local agency listed below.


Toy Bank of Greater Paso Robles

What: Families with children living in Paso Robles, San Miguel, Shandon, Bradley and Heritage Ranch benefit from the Toy Bank of Greater Paso Robles program.

The Day of Giving is Dec. 9 at the Paso Robles Event Center. On that day, registered parents can shop for toys and warm coats for their children. We partner with Coats for Kids for the coats and warm clothing. Last year we helped about 900 children have a little brighter Christmas morning. The registration for Day of Giving is now closed.

The Toy Bank accepts donations all year. To find an online wish list, make a donation or discover where to drop off donations, visit or

People can give monetary donations online via PayPal at Paso Toy Bank website or mail checks payable to Toy Bank of Greater Paso Robles, P.O. Box 2801, Paso Robles, CA 93447.

Info: Email to coordinate a donation pick-up or drop-off. Website:

Marines’ Toys for Tots program

Atascadero Toys for Tots

What: The Marines’ Toys for Tots program works in cooperation with the Kiwanis Club of Atascadero to supply Christmas gifts to families in need. The Atascadero campaign covers Santa Margarita, Atascadero and Templeton, including Creston and California Valley. Requests for toys are only accepted through under the “Request a Toy” tab and need to be received by Dec. 12.

The group is currently collecting toys at locations around town and welcomes monetary donations to help purchase needed toys. It is especially in need of gifts for infants and teenage boys and girls.

Please visit the Atascadero Toys for Tots website and click on the “Donate a Toy” tab to see collection box locations or to make a monetary donation.

Info: 805-391-4430 or

Cambria/San Simeon Toys for Tots

What: The Marines’ Toys for Tots drive sponsored by Cambria’s American Legion Post No. 432 is accepting donations through Christmas. Visit the Cambria Toys for Tots website to make a monetary donation and to find a donation location.

Info: 805-927-1876 or

40 Prado Homeless Services Center

What: The Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County (CAPSLO) is collecting donations for the San Luis Obispo homeless shelter. The items most needed at the shelter are sleeping bags, tents, new underwear of all sizes for men, women and children, and unisex sweatpants, sizes large and extra-large, as well as adults’ winter coats in all sizes.

Check the 40 Prado website to see the complete list or to make a monetary donation.

Where: 40 Prado Homeless Services Center, 40 Prado Road, San Luis Obispo

When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Info: 805-544-4355 or

5 Cities Homeless Coalition (5CHC)

What: The 5 Cities Homeless Coalition is transforming the lives of those who are homeless or facing homelessness throughout San Luis Obispo County.

The coalition accepts donations of new socks, sweatpants, sweatshirts, rain ponchos, hygiene items, and more. To donate your items, please contact Erin Roullard at 805-202-3622 or email

Monetary gifts can be made online via the 5 Cities Homeless Coalition website, or mail checks to 5CHC, P.O. Box 558, Grover Beach, CA 93483.

When: 2 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday

Where: 100 South Fourth Street, Grover Beach

Contact: Erin Roullard,

Info: 805-202-3622 or

Hope’s Village of SLO

What: Hope’s Village of SLO is “dedicated to establishing a safe, healthy, and drug-free village where people will live in dignity and in peace, where their voices will be heard, and where they will have hope in their hearts for a brighter future,” according to the group’s vision statement.

Donate to help homeless neighbors via the Hopes Village of SLO website. Contact Becky Jorgeson for details.

Info: 805-234-5478 or or

Lumina Alliance

What: Lumina Alliance, formerly RISE and Stand Strong SLO, offers programs and services for survivors of sexual assault and abuse and intimate partner violence.

Lumina Alliance is hosting a gift card drive to support survivors this holiday season. Gift cards of any denomination for food, gas and general merchandise stores are the most helpful.

Drop off monetary donations and gift cards at Lumina Alliance’s San Luis Obispo or Paso Robles offices or mail them to Lumina Alliance, P.O. Box 125, San Luis, Obispo, CA, 93406. Online monetary donations can be made at the Lumina Alliance website.

Where: 51 Zaca Lane, Suite 150, San Luis Obispo

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday

Info: 805-781-6400 or

Woods Humane Society

What: Thanks to a generous match from The John and Frank Sparacio Charitable Foundation, all donations up to $20,000 made to Woods Humane Society by Giving Tuesday will be doubled to create twice as much impact for homeless animals. Double your donation at

Where: 875 Oklahoma Avenue, San Luis Obispo, and 2300 Ramona Road, Atascadero.

Info: 805-543-9316 (San Luis Obispo), 805-466-5403 (Atascadero) or

SLO County Sheriff Christmas Bicycle Donations program

What: The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office’s Christmas Bicycle Donations program gives away new and refurbished bikes and new helmets to children in need in San Luis Obispo County.

This year’s Christmas Bicycle Giveaway will take place Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023 at 9 a.m. for those with approved applications. All applications are due by Nov. 28, 2023.

To donate new children’s bicycle helmets in their original packaging, bring the helmets to any of the Sheriff’s Office’s patrol stations or to the Honor Farm off Highway 1.

Send checks to Sheriff’s Advisory Foundation, Attn: Bicycle Fund, P.O. Box 3752, San Luis Obispo, CA 93403.

Where: Honor Farm, 880 Oklahoma Avenue, San Luis Obispo

Info: Contact Sgt. Jeremy Rau at

Transitions-Mental Health Association

What: A nonprofit organization that serves San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties, Transitions-Mental Health Association (T-MHA) is dedicated to eliminating stigma and promoting recovery and wellness for people with mental illness through work, housing, community, and family support services.

Check the T-MHA website to see a complete list of items to donate or to make a monetary donation. Call to set up an appointment to donate items. Email Michael Kaplan at for details.

Where: Transitions-Mental Health Association, 784 High St., San Luis Obispo

When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Info: 805-540-6513 or