About Us

History of the Youth Resource Bank

The Santa Cruz County Youth Resource Bank (YRB) was formed through the inspiration of a juvenile court judge, the Honorable Judge Thomas Black, who had long demonstrated a commitment to youth and his community. In 1982, Judge Black was presiding in his courtroom when a young defendant appeared before him covering his mouth with his hand. Judge Black repeatedly requested that the defendant remove his hand when he spoke. When the young man finally moved his hand, he revealed his very crooked teeth and other dental problems and began to cry. Judge Black asked Lynn C. Miller, then with the Probation Department, what might be done to assist the young man. Mr. Miller asked Judge Black what they might do together. They reached out to a local dentist and an orthodontist to donate the needed work, and the Youth Resource Bank was born.

The Youth Resource Bank founders (including Judge Black and Mr. Miller) quickly realized the difficulties facing similar efforts in neighboring counties, including the lack of sustainability due to dependence on government funding, as well as diversion of resources to overhead and staffing. As a result, YRB was set up as an all-volunteer organization, and in 1989 was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. The model has proven extremely successful and the YRB continues to serve thousands of children in need.

Youth Resource Bank also played an important role in the development of the Santa Cruz County tattoo removal program. YRB — working with Dominican Hospital and Dr. Morgan Magid — provided laser tattoo removal, allowing young men and women who have reconsidered their tattoos, often related to gang affiliation, to have them removed in exchange for volunteer service hours or sliding scale payment. Today, Dominican Hospital carries on the tattoo removal program.

Officers, Directors, Advisory Board

Patty King, President
Nathan Benjamin, Vice President 
Jeff Gaffney, Second Vice President
JoAnn Allen, Secretary
Patrice Kraemer, Treasurer

Barbara Lee
Bob Patterson
Cameron Logan
Carol Johnson
Celeste Gutierrez
Claudine Wildman
Jamie Murray
Jim Rapoza
Jim Tracey
Keith Johnson
Kimberly Petersen
Laura Garnette
Lori Feldstein
Lynn Miller
Mandy Spitzer
Melissa Delgadillo
Salvador Allen
Sandy Bradley
Scott Munro
Stan Einhorn
Tascha Haut



Just a few stories on how Youth Resource Bank (YRB) has helped local families...

• Six chairs for a dining table belonging to a grandmother on Social Security caring for six children due to their parents’ inability to do so. What she wanted more than anything was for them to all be able to sit together to have dinner on Christmas day.

• Good winter boots, coats, and warm sleeping gear for two teenage boys that grew up in the foster care system are were living in group homes. The boys were able to comfortably go to an Outward Bound type camp. Each boy considered it a life-changing experience.

• Beds for a mother and three children who were sleeping on blankets on the floor of their home.

• A tricycle for a three-year-old girl placed with her grandmother after suffering brain trauma due to unexplained head injuries. Her physical therapist advised that the child could benefit from spending regular time using some play equipment, specifically a tricycle.

• Tutoring for two young people that have recently been placed in foster care and because of the unrest in their homes, have fallen behind in critical subjects.

• Clothing for a young man that is trying hard to shed his gang connections and stay away from that life but needs clothing without gang colors.

• A crib for a young, single mom that is reunifying with her six-month-old, who has been in foster care since birth. Mom has successfully completed substance addiction treatment, has obtained employment/financial resources, has obtained housing, has done everything that Family & Children’s Services has asked of her, and once she has a crib, she will be ready to start having overnight visits with her baby. The next step will be for the court to order reunification.

And a few thank you notes YRB has received:

• Thank you for helping my family... Your agency was a first for me and I was treated respectfully and mindfully. This was and is one of the most challenging times of my life, and dealing with support agencies isn’t always this way.”

— Parent of family supported with new shoes and clothes for school

• Thank you for the $100 gift contribution for our student here at Gault School. Your gift brightened our student’s day and she is coming to school today glowing. I sincerely appreciate what the Youth Resource Bank does for our communities and the lift it provides for those in need. This is truly a great organization, ‘filling the gap for children in need.’”

— School Counselor, Gault Elementary School

• Thank you so much for the kindness you and Youth Resource Bank of Santa Cruz County gave to me and my children. They were so excited when we went to Target to shop.”

— Mother of a 13 year old and a 17 year old

• I am especially thankful for the handiwork of Mr. Miller, he was kind and compassionate when helping me with the challenges I was facing in my life.”

— Recipient of services