Kids helping kids: Olivenhain Pioneer students make donation to DreamKeepers

Landon Tate hands over the check to children at the Family Recovery Center.
(Pat Gregory)

A collection of $553 in coins will buy tricycles, scooters for Family Recovery Center


Rancho Santa Fe nonprofit The DreamKeepers Project recently received a generous donation of $553 from students of Olivenhain Elementary School to support the children at the Family Recovery Center in Oceanside.

The Encinitas Union School District campus does a year-long “Change for Change” project, where children collect spare change all year long for a selected beneficiary. This year, DreamKeepers was picked as the kids’ charity of choice.

Since 2009, The DreamKeepers Project has supported the women and children of the Family Recovery Center, which works to improve the lives of those impacted by substance abuse and behavioral health disorders.

On July 6, incoming Olivenhain third grader Landon Tate presented the check to some of the children at the Family Recovery Center, on the playground the DreamKeepers refurbished three years ago.

“We will be purchasing tricycles, scooters and some small bikes with the funds,” said Pat Gregory, DreamKeepers co-founder and current board vice president. “The children were very excited about getting new toys for their playground!”

Dreamkeepers had a check presentation at the Family Recovery Center in Oceanside.
(Pat Gregory)

The 8-year-old Landon was the reason behind the DreamKeepers donation. All year long a big jar rotated through all of the second grade classrooms at Olivehain Pioneer—students could come to the classrooms to toss in coins from their piggy banks or pockets.

When his second grade teacher Susan Hockert asked who they should give the money to, Landon piped up with DreamKeepers.

“I just kind of thought of the DreamKeepers because my mom works there,” he said of his mom Kaitlin, who has volunteered for DreamKeepers since 2019 and now sits on the board. Kaitlin only learned about Landon’s suggestion when he came home from school and told her. Landon has joined her at community service events at the recovery center and she said it must have resonated with him.

“I was so touched,” Kaitlin said. “I was shocked that he even thought of that.”

Landon was tapped to hand over the giant check and he got to meet some of the kids who will benefit from the new toys—they were pretty happy, he said. And he was happy, too, that he and his fellow schoolmates were able to help out DreamKeepers through Change for Change.

“We’re helping charities and we’re making the kids have a better life,” said Landon. “And that makes you feel really good.”