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VITA tax volunteers 2011Santa Maria Urban Ministry (SMUM)

SMUM serves the needs of our clients in San José’s inner city and promotes their self-sufficiency. SMUM offers transformative programs to serve the needs of our community.  Your donations, volunteer hours, and prayers are invited.  SMUM needs your support to accomplish its mission.  Subscribe to our newsletter by submitting your email in the box at the lower right.

Read SMUM’s current stories and news below…

Congratulations Rev. Lawrence Robles

Rev. Lawrence Robles, Rev. David Breuer

Congratulations and thanks to Rev. Lawrence Robles for his many years of dedicated service as Executive Director of SMUM. On 7 December 2011, the Board of SMUM gave a community and volunteer party for to honor Lawrence for his work.  SMUM is proud of Lawrence but we will miss him when he moves to a new role as Rector of St. George’s Episcopal Church, in Salinas, California.  Volunteers from ABC Playtime, Studio, VITA, the Food Warehouse and all of SMUM’s many programs turned out to talk and snack and eat one last tres leches cake with Lawrence.

During the interim period until the new SMUM Executive Director is in place, please direct questions to Alfonso Mendez in the SMUM office (Email: (Enable Javascript to see the email address), Phone: 408-292-3314) or to the SMUM Board Convener, Rev. David Breuer (Email: (Enable Javascript to see the email address), Phone: 408-354-2195)


Tres Leches Cake for Lawrence Robles

Images Copyright 2011 by Katy Dickinson

2010 SMUM Service Measures

SMUM Front with kids 2011Thanks to you!

With the support of SMUM’s generous donors and amazing volunteers, in 2010 SMUM was able to serve:

  • 6,701 households
  • 14,159 individuals
  • 5,476 children

Selected SMUM 2010 program measures:

  • VITA helped over 100 families with their income tax returns.  Over $200K was returned to the local economy from the households that e-file with the VITA program at SMUM.
  • ABC Playtime served 12 preschool students and their families.
  • Studio served 29 grade school students and their families.
  • Over 800 backpacks were distributed at the end of the summer to grade school, middle school, and high school students.
  • 347,020 pounds of food was donated to SMUM for community distribution (valued at about $677 thousand).
  • 290 Emergency Food Boxes (for those outside of the SMUM service area)
  • 43 bicycles were given away. 52 bikes were repaired.
  • Community Closet provided clothes, bedding, toys and other used items to to over 200 households per month.
  • 834 Christmas Gifts were distributed in 2010 (about the same as in 2009).

Thanks to SMUM Treasurer Joanna Shreve, Executive Director Rev. Lawrence Robles, and Office Manager Alfonso Mendez for their help in compiling these numbers.


New SMUM Web Site Live!

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the new SMUM website and its testing.  Special thanks to Jessica Dickinson Goodman who created the new design and did much of the transition work. John Plocher just updated the website so the new design and content are now visible to the public.
You will find old and new material on (which resolves to automatically), including:

  • All Canticle newsletters from 2008-2009-2010
  • The Studio kids’ games page –
  • A link to the diocesan donation page –
  • A way to sign up for the SMUM email distribution list (under SUBSCRIBE on the right-hand side)
  • A new SMUM Donor page is available for the first time
  • Many new pictures
  • Updated and corrected content

Edits, corrections, and comments are welcome.

Katy Dickinson
SMUM Board Member
SMUM Studio Teacher