‘Tis the Season, Part I

By Nick Masuda   |   November 16, 2021

This community seemingly has a heart of gold, from massive fundraising projects that save farms in Summerland (read Kelly Mahan Herrick’s piece on page 8 this week) to the San Marcos Foothills.

This holiday season, a new project is making the goal far more personal — the Santa Barbara Education Foundation wants to shower teachers at the Santa Barbara Unified School District with love.

It’s a simple concept — community businesses donate goods or individuals donate money, and the district turns that into dozens of opportunities to give a needed pick-me-up for teachers and support staff that have had to play multiple roles as students have returned to campus this year.

Rebecca Benozer is helping organize the effort, starting a website where individuals can make donations (visit the website here: https://bit.ly/31T1l5z). She’s also landed commitments from businesses such as TW Hollister Vermouth, Panino, Bettina, Sideyard Shrubs, and Costco.

The effort will be ongoing, with Benozer open to any and all ideas. You can email her at Rebecca.Benozer@sagepub.com.

“Being a great teacher takes endless empathy, bottomless enthusiasm, and a constant flow of innovative ideas. And it’s not just what happens inside the classroom that counts. To set the stage for those ‘aha’ learning moments, endless hours of creativity, planning, and review are needed after the last school bell rings. 

“It’s been a challenging year and a half for teachers, so let’s give back some inspiration and kindness by recognizing educators who go above and beyond. Help us thank all our excellent educators, whether a teacher, administrator, counselor, or support staff – we want to acknowledge those who inspire their students and us every day.”

Here, here.

‘Tis the Season, Part II

Felix is a four-month-old cattle dog mix and is available for adoption through Spark Rescue

If your social media feed is anything like mine, cute videos of puppies and kitty cats are probably prevalent. I guess that’s what happens when you rescue the cutest pup ever (sorry, my Bonita is simply the best, don’t argue, it’s just facts).

But it can also be heart-wrenching to see the animals that don’t have a loving home for the holidays, the ones just waiting for a bow to be put around their neck as the ultimate gift — one that goes both ways.

There are plenty of options to adopt out there, with one of my favorites being Spark Rescue, who has had me contemplating adopting like a bazillion more puppies because of its Instagram feed (instagram.com/sparkrescue/). So much personality for one feed, but it’s hard not to fall in love.

A massive thank you to all the foster parents out there that are keeping these animals safe until their “furever” homes are found (yes, I am that guy now).

How can you resist a face like that of Felix?

I say you don’t — just give in to the temptation and make this a holiday to remember.


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