.Opinion: Welcome Back to Santa Cruz Gives

We’ve got a lot of work to do to help our local nonprofits help our community


Steve Palopoli editor good times santa cruz california

Welcome to the giving season! This week we’re kicking off Santa Cruz Gives, our annual holiday giving campaign. We have a lot of work to do over the next month and a half, since you helped us raise more than a million dollars for local nonprofits in 2021—an incredible milestone, and a very high bar for this year!

So I urge you to get involved right away, starting with our cover story for this week. As has been tradition over the last several years, our campaign starts with a look at who you can donate to this year, and what project they will fund with your Santa Cruz Gives donation.

Here’s the thing, though: when we first started Santa Cruz Gives, we had somewhere around 20 groups participating, so there was plenty of room in our pages for lots of information about the organizations. As SCG has grown, we’ve had to squeeze more groups into the same space, and this year we’ve got 63 nonprofits in the campaign. So, like last year, we only had room in the cover story for each group to briefly explain their project. That will give you the basics, but there’s so much more to know about the great work all of these nonprofits do in our county, and you can go to santacruzgives.org to read way more about each of them. We’re so excited to be working with all of this year’s groups, and I want to thank our Santa Cruz Gives co-sponsors: Community Foundation Santa Cruz County (as well as the Joe Collins Fund and the Applewood Fund at CFSCC), the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County, Driscoll’s, Santa Cruz County Bank, Wynn Capital Management, the Pajaronian and the Press-Banner.

Also this week, our center pullout is a listing of our Best of Santa Cruz County winners for 2022. Back in the day, we used to run the winners in one gigantic issue every year. Now that we put out a whole magazine featuring the winners in March, we don’t do that issue anymore, but we wanted to make sure we ran the winners in the paper, so here they are. Congratulations again to all of them!



LOVE ON THE ROCKS On the jacks by the Walton Lighthouse. Photograph by Cristy Norian

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This week is United Against Hate Week, a call for seven days of local civic action by people in every community to stop hate and bias. The Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV) has seven days of workshops, trainings and discussions to educate people on how to stand up to racism. The week ends with a free screening of the documentary Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Life that includes a discussion with the filmmaker Patrice O’Neill and panelists. Learn more at rcnv.org/events.



El Sistema Santa Cruz / Pajaro Valley is being nationally recognized for its youth music programs. On Monday, the Lewis Prize for Music 2023 Accelerator Awards announced El Sistema (one of this year’s Santa Cruz Gives groups) as a finalist for one of three $500,000 awards that go to programs throughout the country creating positive change through youth music programs. Learn more at thelewisprize.org.


“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

— Winston Churchill


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