We’ve Got Your Back
THE WORD COMMUNITY has never meant more since Santa Barbara and Montecito were ravished of hillside foliage and loss of lives, ignited by the Thomas Fire and fatal debris flow that closed down our town in early December and January.
Broken pipes, boulder filled creeks, mud, lost homes and businesses and evacuation orders became the new normal—but not for long. Nonprofits, first responders, neighbors, support volunteers and rapid response teams stepped up to save beloved Montecito with an urgency and determination. Mother nature may have tried to rip the heart out of its residents, but within hours and weeks agencies providing shelter, food, support, preparedness, emotional support and local assistance centers rose like phoenixes to help the needy and set the community healing and cleanup in motion.
With too many to mention, here are a few of those local heroes who provided shelter, food, support and preparedness and are still doing it everyday, even after months have passed.
DIRECT RELIEF coordinates medical needs and works to coordinate responses, including free tetanus vaccines. Direct Relief also made a $300,000 donation directly to victims and donated supplies and equipment. Directrelief.org
AMERICAN RED CROSS provides disaster relief, medical support, food and water. Redcross.org
Started by locals, the 93108 FUND raised funds for hourly wage earners and those in the service industries whose jobs and wages were curtailed by the evacuations. 93108fund.org
SANTA BARBARA BUCKET BRIGADE provides various opportunities for volunteers to help clear mud, provide emotional assistance and save oak trees. santabarbarabucket.org
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF SANTA BARBARA provides volunteer opportunities for rebuilding, especially for those with technical building skills. Email email@example.com to volunteer.
COAST VILLAGE ROAD RECOVERY CENTER works to connect those in need with help. coastvillageroad.com/thomas-fire-mudslide-assistance
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY SERVICES Readysbc.org provides alerts and information as well as links to resources.
ANIMAL SERVICES, 805/681-5285, provides disaster planning tips and resources for owners of pets and livestock.
—COMPILED BY JUDY FOREMAN & CONNIE SMITH
This story was originally published in the spring 2018 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.