Saturday, January 28, 2023     Volume: 23, Issue: 48

Santa Maria Sun / Cover Story

The following article was posted on December 14th, 2016, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 17, Issue 41 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 17, Issue 41

Searching the stars: Our annual Wishlist issue is a resource for those who want to be a star to a service organization in need


As a child you may have looked up at the sky and made a wish on a shooting star. At the time maybe the wish was something whimsical or over the top. For nonprofits, wishes are often practical. They often wish for the basic items that help them continue providing the vital services they offer the community. 


Wishes come in all sizes. Sometimes they are as grand as finding a donor to provide matching grant money, and other times a wish is as small as a blanket for a cold and lonely puppy. 

We’ve compiled a list of the wishes of some Central Coast nonprofits, to make it easier for those who feel compelled to be a star to a deserving service organization.  

DANA Cultural Center

A flatcar bridge structure—to be used as a bridge over the Nipomo Creek gaining access to 100 acres of open space and interpretive trails.

1,400 feet of 12-inch water pipe and 700 feet of 8-inch water pipe for the construction of a water main extension to service the Dana Cultural Center.

Donated excavating service—to support the installation of fire hydrant, fire sprinklers, and water line extensions.

Solar panels—by adding solar panels on the south facing roof, the DANA Cultural Center could achieve a zero carbon footprint, a model of energy efficiency and a tool for education.

A 36-foot round ramada for the Northern Chumash interpretive area that will serve as a gathering space for the local Northern Chumash tribe and an outdoor educational classroom.

A barn or barn wood siding—to be constructed in 2017, the barn will showcase an exhibit on the quickly vanishing ranching history of our community and function as a gathering space, classroom space, and special event space.

A utility cart to support grounds keeping.

A tractor or skip loader with a mower attachment for grounds maintenance.

Donated architectural services—to support the permit process for smaller park elements.

Four truckloads of recycled asphalt—to stabilize vehicle paths and overflow parking, and to minimize cars getting stuck.

Donated graphics services for the development of outdoor and indoor interpretive signage or marketing pieces.

Nature themed play equipment.

A new doublewide mobile home for an onsite park ranger/park security.

Commercial kitchen equipment, a three-compartment sink and a hand-washing sink for the center’s kitchen.

Cases of printer paper (Costco has the best price).

A new computer (Windows 10, Intel core i5, or similar).

A whole lot of new docents, volunteers, and educators—we need you!

6-foot plastic folding tables.

And a Big Ass Fan (actual name of fan) for the visitor center—heat de-stratification is the process of mixing the hot air at the ceiling with the cold air at the floor creating a uniform temperature in the center, reducing heating bills.

VTC Enterprises

VTC Enterprises was founded in 1961 by a group of Santa Maria Valley parents who wanted to ensure their adult children with significant developmental disabilities would have services available in their own community after finishing high school. 

We currently offer a wide range of individualized services to people with disabilities who desire training or assistance in areas related to employment and daily living. You can find us working from our main facility in Santa Maria and satellite program in Lompoc, in various local community settings and businesses, and at our Source America contract locations on Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) and Naval Base Ventura County. VTC also operates several independent businesses that offer training and employment to the individuals we serve: These include The A Street Café and Catering, Innovative Printing Solutions, two VTC Thrift Stores, and VTC Landscape Maintenance Services.  

Since we serve more than 400 individuals with disabilities, our wish list may seem a little long:

  • Volunteers! We have a variety of places where your expertise can be used. From answering phones at the thrift store to serving coffee at The A Street Café to preparing brochures and newsletters for mailing.
  • iPads
  • DVD players
  • DVD/VCR combo player
  • VHS to DVD converter
  • Wii replacement controllers (2)
  • Educational activity games
  • Casio keyboard
  • Bluetooth karaoke machine
  • Remote headsets for answering phones
  • Exercise bike
  • Wheelchair, in good working order please
  • 20 cup rice cooker
  • 8 cup food processor
  • Microwave
  • Bathroom faucets with sensors
  • Refrigerator with ice maker
  • Automatic door opener
  • Whiteboards (3 feet by 4 feet, or 4 feet by 5 feet)

Anything is greatly and sincerely appreciated!

Contact VTC Enterprises in Santa Maria at 928-5000, or visit the website at

Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum

Dear Santa,

It’s been a busy year at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum! Thanks to donations from the local community, we’ve installed five new exhibits: Discovery Reading Tree, Discovery Farms Produce Truck, Catching Air, Moxie Cafe, and the “Recycling is Fun” kiosk.

It’s a joy to watch children and their families reading stories together in the Discovery Reading Tree, pretending to cook healthy meals in the Moxie Café, and learning about how recycling helps the environment. And everyone loves playing on the Discovery Farms Produce Truck, and catching the balls and scarves that blow through the Catching Air exhibit. 

This year for the holidays, we’d love to receive some extra tools to help us continue providing our families a fun and engaging place for to play and explore:

  • A digital camera (new or in good condition).
  • A color printer (new or in good condition).
  • Volunteers for day-to-day tasks and special events (come play and learn with us!).
  • Arts and crafts supplies (markers, paper, pipe cleaners, tissue paper, googly eyes, jewels, beads, etc.).

And we’d also love to receive donations to help fund the dynamic learning experiences planned for 2017: Vandenberg Space Launch Experience, 3-D Printing Exhibit, and “How it’s Made” in Santa Maria.

Celebrating 20 years as the only children’s museum in Santa Barbara County, the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum is located at 705 S. McClelland St. in Santa Maria. We’re open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Visit to get up-to-date information on special events, weekly programs, and daily tips on fun things to do with your kids!

Happy Holidays!
The Discovery Museum

Santa Maria Valley Humane Society

We always have items that we need here at the shelter. If you see something on the list that you would like to donate, please contact us at 349-3435 or bring them by during open hours. Thank you so much!

  • Beds to cuddle in.
  • Warm blankets and towels.
  • Human to cuddle.
  • Purina One Smartblend Healthy Kibble for cats.
  • Friskie’s Classic Pate for cats.
  • Evo Small Bites kibble for dogs.
  • Evo Adult dry dog food.
  • Evo Adult can dog food. 
  • Johnny Cat litter—non clumping please. 
  • Rawhide chews and meaty treats (no Greenies please).
  • Cat climbing trees (tall).
  • Paper towels.
  • Postage stamps.
  • Rubbing alcohol, peroxide, Band-Aids, and other first-aid items.
  • Laundry detergent (liquid, fragrance free, HE). 

And money is always the most helpful of all.

Good Samaritan Shelter

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go
Take a look in the emergency shelter
Full once again
With families and children all aglow
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Blankets, we need some more
But the pretties sight to see
Is the diapers that will be
On the babies crawling on the floor
A pair of towels for use, and brand new boots
Is the wish of all the men
Shoes for a walk and toothpaste for the talk
Is the hope of all the women
And we can hardly wait for
After School to start again
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,
Soon the bells will start,
And the thing that will make them ring
Is the cash donation that you bring
From within your heart.

Poetic Justice Project

Poetic Justice Project (PJP) advances social justice by engaging formerly incarcerated people in the creation of original theater that examines crime, punishment, and redemption. Established in Santa Maria in 2009, PJP is California’s only theatre company of formerly incarcerated actors. Learn more at

The organization can be reached at 264-5463 or by mail at Poetic Justice Project, P.O. Box 7196, Santa Maria, 93456.

Next year, we’ll be taking two of our plays, Blythe and Time Will Tell, to the Freedom Festival at Los Angles City College. We’d love contributions (online donations, checks, or pre-paid cards) for travel expenses for our actors in these plays. Other needs are 15 lavaliere microphones and a new or used camcorder. And we are always looking for formerly incarcerated people to join our project!

People Helping People Christmas Fulfill-A-Wish program

Listed below are some suggestions for items that are needed for Fulfill-A-Wish.

Infants and Children

  • Gift cards of $10 to $25 value.
  • Musical baby toys, learning toys, diaper bags, blankets, age-appropriate storybooks, puzzles, crayons, and coloring books.
  • Age-appropriate games and toys like trucks, cars, blocks, dolls and accessories, play jewelry, board games, and active games.
  • Cameras, watches, and backpacks.
  • Sports equipment like balls, in-line skates, skateboards, hockey sticks, scooters, and bicycles.
  • Clothes.

Teens and Adults

  • Cosmetics, men/women’s cologne, curling irons, manicure sets, and nail polish.
  • Clothing accessories: scarves, belts, purses, costume jewelry, socks, and jackets.
  • Cameras, watches, MP3 players, iPods, wireless speakers, and headphones. 
  • Sports equipment: balls, rollerblades, skateboards, etc. 
  • Household items: bedding, towels, small appliances, dishes, glasses, pots/pans, and food containers.
  • Decorative items: candles, pictures, and mirrors.
  • Movie tickets to Parks Plaza Theater in Buellton. 

For more information or to donate to Fulfill-A-Wish, contact Marisela De La Cruz at 686-0295 or

People Helping People is located at 545 N. Alisal Road, Solvang, CA, 93463.


Keeping a nonprofit regional theater and conservatory humming year-round requires extensive resources to support the building of the sets and costumes, and to keep stage lights on and sound playing. Here’s a list that could be useful for the upcoming season. 

The Scene Shop is looking for hand tools such as open-end box wrenches, ratchets, chisels, tape measures, flashlights, and screwdrivers. 

Over in Costumes they’re wishing for task chairs with arms for our stitchers working at the sewing machines. Also, 1-gallon capacity jiffy steamers, dress forms, and an extra-large capacity top-loading washing machine. 

The Light Department has the same list of hand tools as Scenery, in addition to a high-end multi-meter, and heavy-duty extension cords. 

The Sound Department could use soldering irons, wire strippers, and batteries of the AA, AAA, and 9-volt varieties. They could also use some Mac computers. 

Also, the company could use up to 30 metal music stands with racks, and airline miles would be greatly appreciated. 

We’re also wishing for more people in the community to discover the joy of live theater right here in your backyard—a theater that presents exemplary productions throughout the year, as it has since 1964 with productions that are exciting, rewarding, and enriching. Visit for more information.

Santa Maria Arts Council

The Santa Maria Arts Council has been supporting and encouraging the expansion of the arts for 52 years. To that end we organize the Individual Grants in the Arts competition and put on the spring Student Art Show, which is coming up on its 37th year. 

We’re wishing for more volunteers to serve as docents for the student art show this April while growing our all-volunteer membership base. We think art is vital for a student’s complete education and essential for a community. Numerous studies and research have shown that the arts have a positive effect on students, raising test scores, and encouraging collaboration. And art teaches problem solving, improves communication skills, and it expands perceptions. 

For the community, public art is vitally important, adding value to our lives and instilling meaning to a community; it contributes to the identity and builds an appreciation of public places. It strengthens the city’s cultural fabric, it helps identify a community, and strengthens local economies. Art enriches our lives and inspires us. Here’s wishing for more art in the coming year. 

Visit for membership and more information. 

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