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Staff Report

The beginning of a new school year brings relief to many parents, but for those who are struggling to make ends meet, it poses another financial hurdle and creates additional stress.

For the past five years, People Helping People (PHP) has stepped in to fill the gap for families and their students who need essential school supplies. PHP purchases backpacks and the school-recommended pencils, crayons, markers, rulers, notebooks, paper, and more to fill them. PHP then distributes the completed backpacks to local schools through their Family Service Advocates assigned to Resource Centers at the schools.

On Aug. 14, volunteers from Hidden Wings, another local nonprofit group, arrived at PHP to fill backpacks, PHP CEO Dean Palius noted.

“Hidden Wings is dedicated to providing a place where young people with autism can spread their own wings and learn life skills,” Palius added. “Hidden Wings has become a go-to source for needed volunteers who not only helped with our school supplies project but also are regularly volunteering at PHP’s biweekly food distribution program at Mission Santa Ines. We are extremely grateful for their assistance.”

Anyone interested in donating to PHP’s school supplies project or who would like more information can call Mayra at 805-588-2495 or email

For more information about PHP and volunteer opportunities, visit