Local businesses give back to high school seniors

PHOTO: T.H. Fang, the owner of Cloud Forest Cafe, welcomes high school seniors to his business.

By Dahlia Kraus,

BlueDevilHUB.com Editor-in-Chief–

A free drink at Dos Coyotes, 20 percent off at Steve’s Pizza and buy-one-get-one-free at Sweet and Shavery: businesses are offering goodies to local high school seniors in the form of freebies, discounts and deals. The program is called Goodies for Grads.

Starting today, March 3, through every Wednesday in March, seniors from any of Davis’s four high schools can show proof of identification to about 40 Davis businesses participating in Goodies for Grads to receive deals.

The initiative was facilitated by Supporting Our Seniors (SOS), a group of about 30 Davis parents and individuals striving to enhance the school year for seniors during the pandemic.

“We just wanted to basically make little bright spots in the lives [of seniors…], just anything we could do to help [their] mental, emotional health,” SOS lead Rachyl Kubby Adler said.

The current “bright spot” is the Goodies for Grads initiative, which has the goal of creating a fun event for seniors while simultaneously supporting local businesses.

Adbul Salam Younus, a partner and manager of Cultive Frozen Yogurt, is struggling like many business owners.

“We are trying our best and we are sacrificing from our own life savings just to stay open,” Younus said.

Last year, Younus’ son graduated from high school, so on his own Younus decided to offer 30 percent off to seniors during the final month of school. This year, alongside many businesses, Younus is offering the same discount as part of Goodies for Grads.

“It is nice to support the seniors […] who are suffering from not having their in-person school and everything,” Younus said. “And, it is also a marketing strategy for our business.”

Younus says the more seniors who come for discounts, the better — and hopes students bring their family and friends back to increase future business.

T.H. Fang, the owner and manager of Cloud Forest Cafe, is participating in Goodies for Grads with 15 percent off all orders. Because his business is down 50 percent, he is grateful for community support.

“Without community support, we could not have survived to today,” Fang said. Fang is participating in Goodies for Grads primarily as a thank you to the community.

“We’re all in this together,” Fang said. “We want to give back a little bit, too. So, I think the 15 percent off to high school students is the least we can do.”

SOS event leader Christine Belew wants Goodies for Grads to be “a win-win for everyone.”

“We couldn’t be more grateful to all the businesses that are able and willing to participate in (Goodies for Grads),” Belew said. “We also find ourselves very humbled and heartbroken for those who reached out to us to say they very much wanted to participate, but their business has just been too impacted by COVID.”

Davis High senior Emma Thompson appreciates previous SOS efforts, including free pajama pants, a donut drive-thru and now Goodies for Grads. She also looks forward to future SOS initiatives.

“They can’t do a lot, but still I think the little gestures matter,” Thompson said.

Businesses that are interested in participating in Goodies for Grads can join by contacting Christine Belew at belew@sbcglobal.net or Jami Mark at jami_mark@sbcglobal.net.

Scan to view the full list of 36 participating businesses.

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