By Risa Schwartz
Editor’s note: Ziva Mitnick was a small child with a big personality and she will not be forgotten. The daughter of Josh and Sarah Mitnick, she was born in 2012 and attended Mar Vista Elementary School in Aptos.
She was a free spirit who appreciated rainbows, mermaids and unicorns and she loved to sing and dance. In July 2019, she was diagnosed with leukemia and it ultimately took her life on Dec. 18, 2019. Her teacher, Risa Schwartz, wrote this tribute.
Everyone knew and loved Ziva, our tiny magical rainbow mermaid unicorn girl.
She was kind and always thought of others and that is the legacy she left behind — be kind and think of others.
Her passing impacted our entire school, as she was to be in first grade and her brother and sister were in fourth and sixth grade.
This year, Ziva would have been in second grade in my class. Her birthday is Nov. 26 and two other kids in the class share a birthday with her. We talk about her and of course even more with her birthday being in November.
We set forth a crowd-funding effort in the second grade community of Mar Vista, the staff, and on her memory page. We have raised $565 toward masks and have received 15 packs of masks so far! (There are 4-6 masks per pack.)
It isn’t just me who has done something, Ziva’s brother’s sixth grade teacher has arranged with Christ Lutheran Church on McGregor Drive to put up a little food pantry where people can leave and take canned and boxed food.
Her sister did a toy drive in September to donate to Kaiser Santa Clara children’s ICU unit for the kids to have special things to play with during their stay because those same things really lifted Ziva’s spirit while she was in the hospital.
These are just three ways Ziva’s spirit has carried on, but I know there are many more.