After Montecito, All the Ways Folks Lending a Helping Hand

Here's How the Community is Contributing and How You Can, Too

Victoria Delgado and Patrick Braid
Paul Wellman (file)

Montecito Mud Piggies

This is kids helping kids. It’s simple: A parent helps their kid buy or build a piggy bank — a sideways coffee can works great — fill it with cash and gift cards, and give it to another kid impacted by the disaster. Gifters can drop off their piggies at the Recovery Free Store (see below) or track down recipients via social media — it’s all fluid and fun. “It doesn’t take much to find a kid in need,” said Eric Greenspan, who has more piggy info at his Mud Angels site: mudangels.org.

S.B. Support Network

Launched on January 9 by six moms with 15 kids between them, S.B. Support Network encourages families in need to sign up anonymously to receive help from various donors, many of whom are also unnamed. Since its inception, the flow-through has been modest to mighty — from $50 grocery gift cards for families living in hotels to a new rental and three months’ rent for a family that lost its home. The network operates under SBCC Foundation’s nonprofit umbrella, so donations are tax-deductible. So far, the group has helped 175 individuals throughout 60 families. For more info, check sbsupportnetwork.org.

Montecito Village Recovery Fund

Village Cheese & Wine owner Patrick Braid kept his doors open in the disaster’s aftermath, feeding first responders and families sheltered in place — for free. Since then, joined by community leaders, including Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams, Montecito Union School Superintendent Anthony Ranii, and CA Highway Patrol Captain Cindy Pontes, among others, he’s launched the Montecito Village Recovery Fund. “It’s about economic redevelopment,” Braid said. “We’re focused on the rebuilding process and pinpointing the real needs of a lot of people [by] providing short-term loans, for example. This is from the community to the community.” Meanwhile, his shop is still open seven days a week and donating sandwiches to volunteer groups.

Recovery Free Store

Until March 31, Recovery Project S.B. is giving out free clothing to disaster victims (with proof of residence) at the Montecito Country Mart (1016 Coast Village Rd.) 11 a.m.-7 p.m. every day. Volunteers are welcome, as are donations. See recoveryprojectsb.com.

Back on Trail

Popular trails were devastated, so the S.B. Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers raised $128,249 to start reconstruction efforts, powered by Santa Cruz Bicycles. S.B.’s Andrew Witt won one of the $10,000 bikes with just a $25 entry. Donations still accepted via backontrail.org.

Axxess to Montecito

The popular Axxess discount card company is selling gift certificates to Montecito and Summerland businesses that put immediate cash in the till and offer a 10 percent discount to buyers. Call 884-0307 or see sbaxxess.com/shop.

Montecito Memorial

Anders Johnson continues to work on erecting a large memorial for those killed by the Thomas Fire and flood. See independent.com/anders2018.

Ohana Weekend

Join the fun Saturday, March 17, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., at this free surf community marketplace and board swap at The Sandbox (414 Olive St.), where attendees can sell, buy, exchange, or browse ocean gear. There will be BBQ, surf films, games, live music, a raffle, and a silent auction. Proceeds go toward the S.B. Support Network to support families affected by the Montecito mudslides. See ohanaweekend.com for the schedule.

Montecito Trails Foundation Public Meeting

On Saturday, March 31, Los Padres National Forest Service District Ranger John “Pancho” Smith will explain the process of restoring our trails, and Ray Ford and Barbara Cleveland will present a slide show of before-and-after pictures. Learn the latest update on the progress of making this local treasure safe and accessible once again following the impacts of the Thomas Fire and mudslides. The event is free and takes place 1-3 p.m. at QAD Corporate Campus (100 Innovation Pl., Summerland). Please text 969-3514 to confirm your attendance. See montecitotrailsfoundation.info.

Katy Perry at Bowl

Just announced this week, the Santa Barbara Bowl will host a second benefit show for victims of the Thomas Fire and flood, this one featuring Katy Perry on May 19. Tickets go on sale Thursday, March 15. See sbbowl.org.

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