Christy Licker, left, who owns Caroline's Thrift, presents a check to Cece Pinhero and Dee Teutschel of the Special Parents Information Network. — Todd Guild/The Pajaronian

APTOS—Since Caroline’s Nonprofit Thrift Shop opened its doors in 2010, owner Christy Licker has given tens of thousands of dollars to local organizations that support children.

In 2017, Licker handed out $275,000 to 26 organizations, which at the time was a record-breaking amount for the store.

That record was shattered again on Sunday, when Licker gave out $710,000 to 24 nonprofits during a gifting ceremony at Resurrection Church in Aptos.

Licker said she looks for nonprofits that provide services for children with special medical, developmental or psychological needs. They must also be based in Santa Cruz County.

The store was founded in memory of Licker’s daughter, Caroline, who died at 16 after receiving support from four nonprofit agencies dedicated to supporting children and their families.

She said the ceremony is a way for the roughly 80 volunteers who work for the store to connect with leaders from the nonprofit organizations that receive the financial gifts.

“We do this so that everyone is motivated and fired up and ready to go for the next year,” she said.

The boost in donations this year came in part thanks to the recent sale of the store’s former location at 402 Trout Gulch Road, Licker said. 

The store also keeps its overhead costs low by utilizing volunteer workers and by selling quality donated goods, she said.

“We have a lot of beautiful things, donated by people who believe in what we do,” she said. 

Volunteer JoAnne Goodwin said she has worked for the store since she brought in several items for donation.

“It feels good,” she said of her work. “The community donates, and the money goes back out the door.”

Foster Anderson, who runs Shared Adventures, received a $15,000 check from Caroline’s that will help the organization continue to bring activities such as surfing to children with disabilities.

“It means everything in the world to me,” he said. “I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without people giving to me.”




Jacob’s Heart 

Hospice of Santa Cruz 

Court Appointed Special Advocates

Coastal Kids


Special Parents Information Network

Monarch Services

Walnut Avenue Women’s Shelter

Second Harvest Food for Kids

For Kids Monterey Bay


Coalition for Compassionate Care of California

teen Kitchen Project

Big Brothers/Big Sisters


Nourishing Generations

Partnership for Children

Pajaro Valley Shelter Services

Community Bridges


Survivors Healing Center

Youth Now

Shared Adventures


Camp Casem

Hope’s Closet

The Diversity Center

National Alliance on Mental Illness, Santa Cruz chapter

Salud Y Cariño


Friends of Santa Cruz County Parks

Talmage scholarship

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General assignment reporter, covering nearly every beat. I specialize in feature stories, but equally skilled in hard and spot news. Pajaronian/Good Times/Press Banner reporter honored by CSBA.


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