Someone San Diego Should Know: Oliva Isaacs

At only 9 years old, Oliva Isaacs is a shining example of Ghandi’s quote “be the change you wish to see in the world.”

For the last three years, Olivia and her mom, Carmen, have held an annual holiday fundraiser to benefit various nonprofits.

In December 2020, the Solana Beach daughter and mom had to do things a little differently because of the pandemic, but they were determined to continue with their desire to help others.

Olivia set out to raise money and awareness for her latest fundraiser to benefit the Rancho Coastal Humane Society. She was inspired to help the nonprofit because of her prior volunteer work with the organization through the Happy Tales program and because “she loves animals and she loves to read to them when she volunteers.”

So, more determined than ever, Olivia and her mom set out fully masked with her wagon and flyers to enlist the help of her community. She collected canned goods, pet toys, blankets, and pet food and more than $600 for the animal shelter.

Olivia is motivated because she understands “it is not always about getting, it is also about giving.” Olivia’s mom said her daughter’s creative thinking has even inspired some classmates at Skyline Elementary in Solana Beach to participate in random acts of kindness of their own.

Olivia and her mom are planning her next annual fundraiser, and the fourth-grader hinted that it might be something to help seniors.

In the meantime, she is practicing random acts of kindness like writing cards to seniors who are in retirement homes and to others needing a hopeful message.

About this series

Dana Toppel is a member of the U-T’s Community Advisory Board. She is the chief operating officer of Jewish Family Service of San Diego.

Someone San Diego Should Know is a weekly column written by members of the U-T’s Community Advisory Board about local people who are interesting and noteworthy because of their experiences, achievements, creativity or credentials.