Get on the Bus

Each year, on the Friday before Mother’s Day, 40 buses carry children and their caregivers from throughout California to visit their mothers in prison. Two of those buses make the 2½ hour trip from Sacramento with approximately 50 children who live within the Diocese to Valley State Prison and Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla in the Central Valley.

Buses leave from St. Anthony Parish, Sacred Heart Parish and the Pastoral Center in Sacramento where parishioners provide hospitality, a travel bag for each child and caregiver, and snacks for the bus. 

It is with great joy to announce that Get On The Bus will be having their bus stop at the  Pastoral Center, 2110 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818 on Saturday, October 15th at 2:00AM.

Please consider donating items to help support with hospitality, a travel bag for each child and caregiver, and snacks for the bus.

If you are interested in supporting this ministry by hosting a bus stop, donating items for travel bags or completed travel bags, please contact Laura Rios at 916-733-0253 or for a complete list of items and to arrange drop off donations.

For more information visit or

Did you know…

  • 200,000 California children have at least one parent in prison.
  • At this moment, there are over 10,000 women in prison in California. 65% are serving time for non-violent offenses. Their average age is 36.
  • Approximately 2/3 of women who go to prison have minor children at the time of their incarceration. Most mothers report that they do not see their children throughout the entire time they are in prison.
  • Relatives, often grandparents, usually care for children with a parent in prison. Many caregivers are unable to make the long, expensive trip to the prison so the children can see their Mom or Dad.
  • Children who have regular parent visits demonstrate better emotional and social adjustment, as well as a lower degree of juvenile delinquency. Their parents demonstrate over rates of recidivism and higher rates of successful family reunification upon release.

The Get On The Bus event is often the only way a child can visit his or her Mom in prison. Here are some of their comments after last year’s visit:

- I noticed things about my mother: she was pretty and she looked like me.

- There is no one in the world I have like my Mom.

The trip is offered at no cost to the families. All expenses are completely underwritten by donations from individuals, families, churches and businesses.