August 2023

Everyone is a Winner When Kids Have the Supplies They Need to Start School

There’s nothing better for kids than the first day of school. It’s like the first day of the baseball season: everybody’s a winner.

They’ve got the shiny new backpack, be it Spiderman, Roblox or Barbie (probably not Oppenheimer). There are the fresh new pencils, crayons, notebooks, book covers. And there are endless possibilities. They strut into the classroom that first day so proud and colorful.

But what if your kid can’t afford all that new stuff? How would that feel? It’s too sad to even think about.

Luckily, people in Santa Cruz have taken up the challenge to help the 2,000 or so students who are unhoused or living in shelters or temporary quarters. They started a program called “Stuff the Bus” to supply those kids with new necessities and brighten their lives.

They’ve turned a disaster into a feel-good story and we are proud of them for it. We should all be proud of what this county can accomplish when people set their minds to help.

“Stuff the Bus” isn’t difficult to join. You can donate $25 to cover the expenses for one child (check United Way Santa Cruz’s website for how you can help). They are already filled with 150 volunteers who will go to Kaiser Permanente Arena to literally stuff the yellow school bus. But you can check the United Way site to see if there are new openings. Kids and families can really get a feel there for how important and gratifying it is to help other kids in need. They’ve turned it into an event with music and great vibes for all.

We salute the people and businesses behind it. Check out our story about “Stuff the Bus.” You’ll want to help next year if you aren’t able to this year. Families need the help year-round.

In other back to school news, we’ve got a health column with tips about how to keep in shape with the new school schedule. We have a hugely important column with advice for minorities about how they should fill out college applications now that the Supreme Court has disallowed racial considerations for college entry.

And we’ve got some great local profiles of people who’ve grown up in Santa Cruz, including a young female surfer and a 93-year-old tennis pro.

On a separate note, we are very sad to lose the Seascape Resort free Sunday concerts, which brought a large community of music lovers to Aptos. Noise complaints sank it.

Please send in your suggestions and requests for what we should be writing about in the future. Write me at [email protected]

Check Out Our New Videos. Look at our new video series on Instagram, Facebook reels, YouTube and TikTok. Just search and sign in to Growing Up in Santa Cruz. We did a quiet roll out and we are getting tens of thousands of views a month. We’d love to make videos for our sponsors and we can possibly get some of your kids into them. Please like the videos or let us know what you think.<p>

Thanks for reading!

Brad Kava,
Editor and Publisher

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