pajaro valley shelter services flood donation
Addy Rodriguez (left), senior case manager at Pajaro Valley Shelter Services, helps Sara Garcia and her family load bags with new clothing Saturday at the PVSS headquarters on Brennan Street. Photo: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

PAJARO VALLEY—A growing list of helping hands during the flood crisis that struck Pajaro recently continues to dole out badly needed goods and services.

On Saturday the staff at Pajaro Valley Shelter Services in Watsonville invited 100 families from Pajaro to help themselves to new clothing, toiletries, diapers, wipes and other household supplies set out on a string on tables at their Brennan Street center. 

The one-day free giveaway was augmented by a free hot lunch of a mix of Mexican food cooked up by local food vendor, Jaime Cruz, owner of Tacos Los 2 Compadres.

Benna Dimig, development manager at PVSS, said that stepping in and helping the flood victims was the “natural thing to do.”

“I’m called to do this; it’s in my heart and it is what I am meant to do,” Dimig said.  

She added that numerous folks have come forward to donate including Shaz Roth of the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture who dropped off gift cards for meals for 10 families at the popular restaurant, D’La Colmena. Roth said they were financed by famed singer, Andy Vargas.

“We could not do this without the generosity of our community,” PVSS Executive Director Mike Johnson said. “We had a 90-year-old man walk in and hand us $100. The Salvation Army team has been very helpful with their hotel vouchers and more.”

Among other groups pitching in around town, Sarah Lewis at Freedom Meat Lockers said her family-owned business donated 300 sandwiches to those displaced by flooding in Pajaro.

Greg Wimp, owner of Togos restaurants in Watsonville, Capitola and Scotts Valley, said he donated in several ways on top of more than 400 sandwiches to places such as Family and Women’s Center, Second Harvest Food Bank and to those who are homeless.

pajaro valley shelter services flood donation
Residents of flood-stricken Pajaro are happy to enjoy a hot meal of Mexican food prepared by Jaime Cruz, owner of Tacos Los 2 Compadres, after they were evacuated from their homes in Pajaro. Photo: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian
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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


  1. I live in the SF/Bay area and would love to send gently used toys and children’s books to those in need. My son is now 35 and lives in NYC. We have no need for these items. I know there are probably more immediate needs, but I thought children could use these to make their lives a little brighter.

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