If there’s a nonprofit out there that has attracted your admiration for their good works, today is #GivingTuesday, a day to show some appreciation. The global movement for generosity is normally in December, but COVID has caused organizers to double their efforts “in this unprecedented time of need,” asking people to think about neighbors, frontline workers, community drives, and nonprofits, especially those that give back in a big way.
One of the small nonprofits with a large impact in Santa Barbara is Women’s Economic Ventures. Through experience honed across nearly three decades of work, WEV has connected dozens of business owners — of both sexes — with specialists in strategy, the loan process, training, marketing, and webinars to coach them through the COVID crisis.
“Donations to WEV enable us to help more people,” said WEV’s Lysa Urban. “The piggy bank we’re trying to fill is our quick-response loan fund, which was quickly depleted when we received tons and tons of phone calls after we created the response phone line.” Many were simply relieved to be able to talk to a human being after being on hold with other agencies, Urban said. But WEV’s help is tangible, too: “While businesses are in the process of trying to get federal loans, they need cash immediately,” she explained. “We’re able to respond immediately, have them completing an application in a couple of days, and fund their account — if they qualify — within a couple days of that.”
Among the groups in Santa Barbara that have flagged their participation in #GivingTuesday is PATH Santa Barbara; the homeless shelter’s board is matching all donations to the PATH Cares COVID-19 Fund up to $200,000. The universe of good-deed doers in Santa Barbara is vast and includes groups like Angels Foster Care, Habitat for Humanity, and Explore Ecology, as well as schools, clubs, museums, and animal and medical facilities. Even more can be found among the nonprofits featured in the Independent’s annual Santa Barbara Gives! campaigns.