SANTA CRUZ—In 2022, Coastal Kids Home Care provided in-home nursing care for 65 children with serious and life-threatening illnesses, work that also benefited 228 family members.
Such services are vital in Santa Cruz County, where an estimated 1,700 young people need such services, says Christine Licker, whose store Caroline’s Non Profit Thrift Shop donates thousands of dollars every year to local nonprofits.
“The need here is great,” says Licker. “These children are living with cancer, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and congenital conditions and others.”
The 18-year-old Coastal Kids Home Care received a $40,000 check from Caroline’s on Sunday, one of 29 nonprofits that were honored in the store’s annual gifting ceremony in the UC Santa Cruz Hay Barn.
To date, the 13-year-old nonprofit has donated more than $2.8 million.
All told, Coastal Kids Home Care served 562 kids last year in Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Clara counties for a total of 5,200 visits by skilled nurses, says Development Director Kelli Mullin.
The organization served Licker’s daughter Caroline, who inspired her mission to provide donations to youth-serving nonprofits. Caroline died in 2007 at the age of 16.
The “Caroline Licker Therapy Room” is used by pediatric physical and occupational therapists to offer clinic-based therapy to children with developmental delays.
Mullin says the donations through the years have among other things allowed the organization to renovate a new building in Salinas, where a physical therapy room is named after Caroline.
“It’s always wonderful to be the beneficiary of a donation like that, because it comes from the heart of a parent who has lived the life of the families that we serve,” she said.
Licker praised the group of roughly 50 volunteers who do everything from receiving donations to renovating and selling them to making hand-crafted merchandise—the latter of which netted more than $20,000 last year, Licker says.
“I feel really proud of what this group of people has done,” she said. “The volunteers work incredibly hard to make this happen. As a mother it’s a little bittersweet—it’s hard because I lost my daughter, but I also think this would make her happy.”
AIM Youth Mental Health–$3,500
Big Brothers/Big Sisters–$20,000
Building for Generations–$3,000
Court Appointed Special Advocates–$25,000
Community Bike Collective–$5,000
Circle Family Center–$20,000
Dientes Community Dental Care–$25,000
For Kids Monterey Bay–$20,000
Hospice of Santa Cruz County–$40,000
Live Like Coco–$10,000
NAMI Santa Cruz County–$20,000
Pajaro Valley Shelter Services–$20,000
Partnership for Children–$15,000
Salud Y Carino–$13,500
Second Harvest Food Bank–$25,000
Special Parents Information Network–$20,000
Survivor’s Healing Center–$10,000
Teen Kitchen Project–$25,000
Walnut Avenue Family & Women’s Center–$20,000