Just in time for the holiday season, the Unity Shoppe, Inc— which provides free food, toys, and critical services to qualifying community members in need— will reopen its doors in Santa Barbara next Tuesday, November 12, thanks to donor financial support. On average, the Unity Shoppe helps 20,000 people per year avoid welfare dependency and homelessness.
The nonprofit shut its doors two months ago for the first time in 103 years due to an unanticipated economic downturn. Fifteen full-time management and staff employees were laid off and support programs were put on hold — it was “devastating for everyone,” commented Unity Shoppe Program Director Pat Hitchcock in a press release.
Now that operations are back up and running, the employees have been rehired and are diligently working with 1,800 volunteers to manage eight programs in the locations listed below. “All of us at Unity feel tremendous gratitude for our friends and supporters who believe in our mission and the role we serve to so many in our community,” said Executive Director Tom Reed.
The organization will have its 33rd annual KEYT-televised telethon on December 14, hosted by longtime volunteer and friend to the organization Kenny Loggins. If they can reach $100,000 by the end of the event, an anonymous donor family has promised to match the amount.
Find Unity Shoppe at:
1401 Chapala Street (Grocery Store and Clothing Center)
1207-09 State Street (Thrift Store, Senior Resource Center, Job Prep Program, and Disaster Recovery Services)