Agency seeks to fill backpacks
North Sonoma County Services is seeking money and supplies to fill at least 10 backpacks for students K-12 who are living in transitional housing in Healdsburg. The agency plans to fill the bags before Aug. 19, when school starts.
Each backpack will be filled with school supplies such as binders, paper, pencils, pens, calculators, rulers, art supplies and individual-sized alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
The agency, which works in partnership with the Committee on the Shelterless and the City of Healdsburg, provides services for the homeless and the working poor that include rent assistance, help with water and utility payments, and 11 units of transitional housing. In conjunction with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the chronically homeless are provided with showers as well as free counseling on Thursdays, according to Colleen Householder, executive director.
The agency is now working with some of the families displaced from rental units on Prentice Street, recently evicted when a developer purchased the property.
Clients have lived in cars, with relatives or in other tenuous living arrangements. Each adult must pass drug and alcohol tests and set goals that include budgeting, parenting, career, a mandatory savings account, clearing legal issues such as immigration status or child support delinquencies. They must apply for HUD assistance, also known as low-income housing or Section 8.
Clients also receive advice on how to be a good tenant, are encouraged to take English classes and receive help with resume writing and interviewing skills.
At the end of an 18-month stay in transitional housing, their goal is to find permanent housing.
Backpack pledges can be made at 433-6161 or 209 Matheson St. North Sonoma County Services’ annual fundraiser is from 4-8 p.m. Aug. 22 at Hoot Owl Vineyards. Tickets are $60.
‘Stuff the Bus’ with supplies
The PTAs of Windsor Unified School District, Cali Calmecac Language Academy and Windsor High School Boosters want you to stuff a school bus to its windows with classroom supplies on Aug. 6.
The bus will be in the Walmart parking lot between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., and at the Staples store at 2222 Cleveland Ave. in Santa Rosa between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Aug. 15.
Each of Windsor’s schools will post a list of the items it needs on its website, and lists will be distributed in the parking lots on the days of the event.
“What better way to celebrate our community than working together?” said Windsor Creek Elementary School Principal Maureen Grafield. It’s the first year of the “Stuff the Bus” event.
Tax deductible donations also may be dropped off at Yogurt Farms, 626 McClelland Drive, Windsor.
Relay for Life raises cash
Nearly two-dozen teams raised close to $70,000 during the American Cancer Society’s 24-hour Relay for Life at Keiser Park last weekend.
The theme of this year’s event was Carnival of Hope, and participants observed a “Celebration of Jack” on Saturday evening to honor Jack Setzer, 3, of Windsor, who was diagnosed in 2012 with Stage 4 neuroblastoma.
“He survived and today is a normal boy,” said Diane McDowell, a Relay for Life organizer and member of the Hoof ‘in for a Cure team. “He likes superheroes, and we gave him a truck full of toys and a Superman cape. Jack ran the track to ‘save the relay.’ ”