The Leadership Santa Maria Valley (LSMV) Class of 2013 provided Santa Barbara County Child Welfare Services with the first of 600 custom-built, age-appropriate “GoBags” on July 21, 2013.

The LSMV Class of 2013 launched “GoBags Santa Maria,” a project that provides basic necessities, such as toiletries, clothing and school supplies to foster children in transition. In May and June, the group collected supplies, raised $4,000 from the community, and assembled the first of the much-needed bags.

To ensure long-term success for the program, Element Christian Church in Santa Maria will assume responsibility for the project and will supply “GoBags” to the county’s child welfare servicvies as needed. More information about “GoBags Santa Maria” is available on Facebook at GoBags Santa Maria.

LSMV is sponsored by the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and has been the Central Coast’s premiere leadership program since it was created in 1995. The 11-month course provides participants with understanding and insights into the challenges and opportunities facing the community. Click here for more information about the program.

— Mark van de Kamp represents Leadership Santa Maria Valley.