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COVID-19: Montecito and Santa Barbara Non-Profits Respond

The Organizations Aiding Our Most Vulnerable People and Pets Need Our Support

Photo of Santa Barbara at night wih the ocean on the right side and the communities on the left It can be incredibly overwhelming to figure out where to focus your efforts to help those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. True, staying at home, wearing a mask, and washing your hands can save lives, but when it comes to donating money, goods or time, which Santa Barbara non-profits are the best to support?

There are many amazing organizations, both locally and nationally, that are working tirelessly behind the scenes. In this post, I am going to focus on some of our miraculous local not-for-profits. Depending on where you want your assistance to go, the perfect non-profit is waiting for your thoughtful donation — especially now.

Santa Barbara first responder van and helicopter

Help First Responders, Emergency Preparedness and Response

One805 is raising funds for all three First Responder groups in Santa Barbara. That means your donations will go directly to help our front-line heroes: namely fire, police, and sheriff. You can rest assured knowing your donation will help purchase equipment and take care of those who step up to the challenge and care for us every day. You will be ensuring there are enough supplies distributed to locations where they are most needed for medical and first responding departments throughout Santa Barbara County. 

“If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that this community knows how to rally in times of need,” said One805 Executive Director Angela Binetti Schmidt. “As we all heed orders to shelter at home, our first responders are still serving on the front lines. These items will help to mitigate their risk of COVID-19 exposure – and serve in our collective efforts to flatten the curve.”

One805 is also searching for empty homes to temporarily house active first responders who want to limit potential virus exposure to their family members. Anyone with an empty home or residence in Santa Barbara County who is willing to donate for this purpose, please email

Help Vulnerable Individuals and Families

Watch this video to see how vulnerable individuals and families in Santa Barbara County are benefitting from the official COVID-19 Joint Response Effort. This joint response between the Santa Barbara non-profits United Way of Santa Barbara County, the Santa Barbara Foundation, Hutton Parker Foundation, and the Foundation Roundtable is providing relief funds for our county’s most vulnerable individuals and families, as well as the organizations assisting them. More than $2 million has already been secured to help those most in need.

“While the long-term effects of the pandemic on our community are still evolving, we are clearly seeing the immediate economic toll of COVID-19 on our most vulnerable community members,” said Steve Ortiz, President & CEO, United Way of Santa Barbara County. “Tens of thousands of Santa Barbara County individuals and families who have lost employment are in desperate need of financial support right now to pay rent, buy food and medicine. Any funds we receive for the effort will go directly to those most in need.”

The COVID-19 Joint Response Effort aligns and coordinates Santa Barbara non-profits, collects and shares information, and distributes financial resources on a rolling basis. To date, 46 local non-profit organizations have received grants totaling $695,468 to help them meet immediate community needs.

“Our combined approach to supporting both individuals/families as well as other non-profits who are responding to COVID-19 allows us to address needs quickly and on multiple levels,” said Jackie Carrera, Interim CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation.

The United Way is also working in partnership with Family Service Agency to distribute individual assistance grants to individuals and families in need on a rolling basis. This program will continue for as long as funds are available.

Help Seniors

Santa Barbara Meals on Wheels is a non-profit that has long dedicated itself to addressing senior hunger and isolation. Delivering affordable, freshly prepared meals 365 days a year to elderly and homebound residents of our community is crucial amidst the COVID-19 outbreak since senior citizens are at a greater risk of contracting the virus. Plus, providing both nutrition and personal interaction is invaluable to seniors who want to live independently, with dignity, as long as they are able. This program is ongoing so feel free to offer your support at any time.

Santa Barbara Humane Society community update with dogs and cats

Help Animals in Need

There are Santa Barbara non-profits that focus their efforts on helping pets and animals. One of my favorites is the Santa Barbara Humane Society. With so many families at home, people have been fostering and adopting animals so fast that shelters like the SB Humane Society can’t keep up with the demand.

Although SB Humane Society had to close to the public at the beginning of this pandemic, it has implemented a new process for adoptions. Anyone interested in bringing home a new furry family member can do so via telephone. This system has worked incredibly well, resulting in the placement of more than 70 animals just in the last couple of weeks alone.

Those who are not looking for a new furry family member to bring home are invited to help, too. SB Humane Society needs funds to continue their good deeds. Donations are taken online, via the mail or even over the phone by contacting the Administration Office at (805) 964-8326.

As you can see, when it comes to COVID-19, Santa Barbara County is working overtime to ensure the health and welfare of all residents. Those who want to stay up-to-date on COVID-19-related news and events, and how this novel coronavirus is affecting our community, subscribe to my blog. It’s easy. Just fill out the form the form in the right-hand sidebar on this page. Meantime, if you live in the Santa Barbara-Montecito area and are considering selling to a move to a different Santa Barbara area community or neighborhood, give me a call or drop me an email and let’s talk. You can contact me at or by calling +1 (805) 886-9378.


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