Now in its 22nd year stuffing backpacks, Valley Churches United Missions seeks donations of school supplies, backpacks and gift cards for shoes for school children in need.
Each year the organization collects school items for the children of low-income families and assembles new backpacks filled with items like notebooks, writing utensils and gift cards.
“In addition, VCUM has school supplies available during the school year for late arriving students because of a move or transfer,” said operations director Linda Lovelace. “You would be amazed how many kids ask for school supplies during our Christmas Project.”
Valley Churches has partnered with Ben Lomond and Scotts Valley Market’s frequent shopper club in which shoppers can designate VCUM Education as a recipient. Individuals can sponsor a student with a $40 donation which includes a new backpack, notebooks, binders, paper, pens and pencils, dividers, rulers, dictionary, calculator, highlighters, erasers, markers, supplies for reports and a new pair of shoes. Donations earmarked “Backpacks” will be designated for the campaign with 100 percent of funding benefiting the children.
In 2012, Lovelace said, 250 kids were served, and the organization expects an uptick this fall.
Donations may be made online at www.vcum.org or mailed to VCUM (Backpacks), PO Box 367, Ben Lomond, CA 95005. Purchased supplies may be dropped off at VCUM offices, 9400 Highway 9, Ben Lomond Gas Station, 9500 Highway 9 or Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce, 360 Kings Village Road. For information call 336-8258 ext. 221.
Organization receives $88K bequest
Valley Churches United received a bequest of $88,351.05 from the estate of Jeanne Goret, who died Feb. 25.
Goret was the longtime companion of VCUM volunteer Les Grizzell who died in 2009.
Goret’s life-insurance policy was left to the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County with half directed to VCUM and half to the Fund for the Future of San Lorenzo Valley, an endowment administered by the Community Foundation to support grants that serve the San Lorenzo Valley.
In May, VCUM received $37,857.09 from the estate of longtime volunteer Susan Thieman who died in 2012. Thieman was the founder of the Saturday food pantry at VCUM and worked there until her health failed her.
Additionally, a $5,000 grant from Palo Alto Medical Foundation has allowed VCUM to offer back to school vaccinations and cover the fee of the Dominican Hospital Mobile Clinic for those in need. The drop-in clinic visits St. John’s Church in Felton each Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and St. Agustin’s Church in Scotts Valley each Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.