Friday, April 20, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 7

Santa Maria Sun / Commentary

The following article was posted on November 15th, 2012, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 36 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 13, Issue 36

We want your needs

Nonprofits are invited to submit their wish lists to the Sun


The whole “stores decorate so early for the holidays” shtick is a bit tired at this point. We’ve all heard the jokes about Christmas tree displays edging out Halloween spider webs and haunted houses in early October. Fake snow seems to start falling while late-summer heat waves are just blazing to life.

But come Thanksgiving, legitimate excitement about the coming season is fair game in our book.

That’s why we want you to start thinking about giving. Actually, if you’re a local nonprofit, we want you to start thinking about receiving.

Each year, in the week before Christmas, the Sun prints wish lists from area nonprofits. We invite various groups to submit their wants and needs, and we compile them into a cover story that invites the community to pick an item or two and make it happen.

We encourage the groups to not hold back, and the answers we get are always interesting and varied. Wishes have ranged from the expected (money and volunteers) to the practical (clothing or appliances) to the creative (every Santa Maria resident donating $1 to the cause).

But in order to get the word out, we need to get the word in first. In years past, the writers have selected a few nonprofits each and made a call or sent an e-mail.

This year, we’re opening up the doors—don’t all stampede at once, though!—and asking for local nonprofits to submit their lists to us. It’s like a free-for-all, but hopefully it will bring in something free for you.

The deadline to get wishes to us is Dec. 6. That’s three weeks from this printing. E-mail holiday wishes, whether monetary or ethereal, to

Please include the full name of your nonprofit, the name of the person sending the e-mail, contact information, the wish itself, and any comments you’d like to add. We’ll do some follow-up as necessary and make sure everything’s in order.

We could be overwhelmed by response, in which case we’ll have
to tailor our story accordingly. Or we could just get a few replies. It’s up to you.

There are locals just itching to play Santa—we know it—and the easiest way to ensure you get what you want from the Big Man (or his designated helpers) is to provide a list. You could think of us as the middle men and women, if you’d like, but we’d prefer you to think of us as your weekly community paper aiming to help make this area better all around.

Remember, though, that we are writers and editors, so we’re not asking you to necessarily pen something fabulous on your own. You could give us bullet points. Or a run-on sentence weighed down by commas. Or a poem. But we’ll whip it all into the proper format for our publication, so don’t feel bad if it doesn’t show up exactly as you wrote it. After all, you have to leave at least something for the professionals to handle.

Our wish list will hit Northern Santa Barbara County streets—and, really, everywhere in the world via the Internet—on Thursday, Dec. 20. So don’t peg all your hopes on Christmas week. If you’d like to make a wish on something for the new year, do so. We’re sure there are people out there who’d like to wrap up 2012 with some charity (and perhaps a little breathing room on their taxes) or kick off 2013 with some resolutions to volunteer, donate, or otherwise improve the world.

Nonprofits should be based in Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Vandenberg, Orcutt, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, Buellton, or Santa Ynez. Our coverage area extends a bit into SLO County, too, so Nipomo is fair game. There are also all sorts of small communities in the county—we’re looking at you, New Cuyama—that could be packed with wishes. So don’t be shy.

If you have any questions, feel free to call our office at 347-1968.

Merry Christmas!

Actually, happy Thanksgiving! I don’t want to be a part of rushing the season along too quickly. So be sure to take some time and enjoy the turkey and cranberries, the stuffing and apple cider. Watch the parade. Play some football. Express your gratitude for family, friends, food, and life.

Then get ready for Christmas.

Contact Executive Editor Ryan Miller at

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