We are sailing to Gaza’s shores to deliver letters of support as well as much-needed construction and medical supplies for rebuilding Gaza’s schools, homes and hospitals. As a parent, it’s simple, isn’t it? We feed our children the best available food to ensure their health and nourishment.

I raised my daughter in lovely Santa Cruz. We enjoy a vibrant artistic community, ocean views and redwood forests. We have a wide range of shopping choices. I do not have to worry about how to get enough calories to my child.

According to a recent UNICEF report, however, 80 percent of families in Gaza are dependent on food aid.

When it comes to the health of our children, we seek the best care possible. Like parents in Gaza, I am concerned about my daughter’s health and want her to have the best care. I am fortunate to be employed by the University of California, which provides excellent medical coverage. We can access Stanford or UCSF, two of the top medical facilities in the U.S.

Gaza’s medical system contends with limited fresh water and frequent power cuts. According to the World Health Organization, emergency medications, CT scanners,X-ray machines, fluoroscopes, infusion pumps, laboratory equipment and uninterrupted power supply batteries are still awaiting Israeli clearance. Gazans cannot secure basic medical care.

We do all we can to ensure our children’s safety. I was concerned for my daughter’s safety as she grew up and became independent. I am fortunate to have a community and family who have participated in raising my daughter and have placed caring eyes on her.

I know that Gazans, too, have community support and care for their children. Unlike them, however, I have never sent my daughter out to play concerned she might confront tanks, gunfire or military detention.

Since 2000, according to the Palestinian Ministry for Prisoner Affairs, the Israeli military has arrested more than 6,500 Palestinian children. According to Defence for Children International, 352 Gazan children were killed as a direct result of Israel’s military offensive “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008-09.

We do all we can to ensure an education for our children. Like Gazans, I was concerned about my daughter’s education. In Santa Cruz, we can choose among public, private or home schooling. I chose a combination of the three.

Restricted entry of basic building materials has prevented construction work on the numerous schools in Gaza damaged or destroyed by Israeli forces. The restriction has resulted in the United Nations being unable to build classrooms for 40,000 children.

My daughter is coming to the Holy Land by land while I arrive by sea. We are practicing what we learned from Tibetan friends who transported us in an emergency across the Tibetan Plateau and into Nepal. They reminded us of a simple truth: “It’s nothing what I sacrifice in doing what is right. It is my duty. I must help simply because I am aware you need help.”

It’s simple really. It is not about whose children suffer; it is that children suffer. I do not want to live in a world where my child can thrive while other children cannot. So I leave my ocean shore for Gaza’s carrying the spirit of many, who offer the people of the region their commitment to human rights, international law and the sanctity of life.

DEBRA ELLIS, coordinator for residential education at UC Santa Cruz, has spent time in Iraqi refugee camps in Jordan and Syria. She wrote this for this newspaper.