Santa Barbara, Ca. (November 29, 2021) – The Riviera Ridge School is proud to honor brothers Jaden and Jordan Lind of the Marymount classes of 2018 and 2019 respectively with this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2016 while still attending Riviera Ridge, Jaden and Jordan founded The Jordan Elf Project, which helps the homeless and disadvantaged from Santa Barbara all the way to India.
The project started when Jordan wrote a letter to Santa and instead of asking for toys for himself, he asked for 20 blankets to give to the poor in Santa Barbara. That Christmas morning, Santa brought Jordan all the blankets he asked for, and that afternoon the family walked the streets of SB handing them out.
“After the first small project and the ease with which it came together, it was sort of natural to do it again. And from there we started volunteering our time at local shelters, and those shelters had needs for supplies. That led to food and clothing drives,” Jaden said. “Once we asked people to donate supplies, it was a small step to raise money for campaigns. Initially it was from friends and families, but once we were able to raise money from corporations and foundations we knew we could scale up.”
Jaden and Jordan’s giving spirit propelled them to take their passion for helping others to Goa, India, where they traveled to an orphanage and a home for the elderly on Christmas Day to hand out gifts. Back in Santa Barbara, they have raised funds for new technology for students struggling in remote learning due to the pandemic, for COVID relief in India, and for new sleeping bags for the homeless.
“Our growth path has been very natural and organic. Right now we’re very opportunistic and project based,” Jaden said. “I think our next step is to become a bit more institutional and organized so we can grow beyond our own personal limitations.”
Jaden is now a senior at San Marcos High School, and Jordan is a junior. In their last Elf Project, the family collected more than 700 blankets and pillows for the non-profit group “People Assisting The Homeless” (PATH).
“Although they are only in high school, Jaden and Jordan are already living out our Mission, Vision and Values in meaningful and life-giving ways,” Head of School Chris Broderick said. “It is a joy to see our graduates spread their wings. These former students are true evidence of our vision as a school to empower individual potential, inspire purpose beyond self, and cultivate social responsibility.”
Most recently, Jaden and Jordan were honored as the 2021 Youth in Philanthropy Award recipients at the Association of Fundraising Professionals Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties National Philanthropy Day event. The youngest Linds sibling, Jasmine is currently a 6th grader at Riviera Ridge.
“We are proud to see what our alumni achieve and give back to the community when they continue leading with gratitude and purpose, “ Broderick said.
At Riviera Ridge School, we provide student-centered, individualized learning in a joyful and nurturing community, inspiring academic excellence and valuing difference. The educational vision for each Riviera Ridge graduate is to empower individual potential, inspire purpose beyond self, and cultivate social responsibility as they prepare for high school and beyond.