As our Santee School District students just started their school year yesterday, I had the opportunity to help distribute backpacks at Buddy’s Backpacks & School Supply Drive on Saturday. There was many other volunteers from the Santee-Lakeside Rotary, the Santee School District, City Council Members amongst many other community partners. This is one of my favorite feel good moments and has been since I started to help with this program back in 2017 during my Miss Santee reign. This backpack event started in 2015 and is named after the founder and community activist, Buddy Rabaya who died from health complications in 2020. Buddy was also the 2018 Santee Chamber Person of the Year.
For those that didn’t know Buddy, he had such a giving heart which makes sense why he started this program along with many others as well. This program in particular was created to help families having a tough time paying for school supplies. It was heartwarming to see the students faces light up with a smile as they were handed a backpack filled with school supplies. I encourage you to get involved with this program whether it’s to volunteer or donate supplies. We need more people to #belikebuddy. Keep an eye out for donation boxes around town for the next school year! I hope all of our students have a successful school year.