At its 16th annual Celebration of Grants held on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara awarded grants totaling $685,000 to nine local nonprofit agencies. The event marked the end of the 2019-2020 Women’s Fund grant cycle and honored its newest grantees, voted on by the membership of nearly 1,100 women. Since 2004, these generous women have been combining their charitable dollars into significant grants. To date, nearly $7.9 million has been distributed to 111 local area nonprofit programs serving over 100,000 women, children, and families in Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Carpinteria.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the celebratory event was held online and featured virtual presentations by Women’s Fund leaders and grant recipients. Board Chair Laurie Tumbler kicked off the event saying, “In these unsettled times, it is important that the Women’s Fund is continuing its 16-year course of helping our most vulnerable neighbors through providing significant grants to our nonprofit partner organizations. Our new grantees provide critical, long-term services for women, children, families, and seniors in south Santa Barbara County.”
Maureen Ellenberger and Sabina White, Co-Chairs of the Women’s Fund Research Committee, introduced the nine nonprofits receiving grants, and representatives from each of the agencies described how the grants would be used:
- 2nd Story Associates – Housing Authority of Santa Barbara – received $100,000 to provide on-site case management and health support team for low-income seniors.
- Doctors Without Walls – Santa Barbara Street Medicine – received $60,000 for a daytime outreach specialist to expand the reach of medical volunteers helping homeless people.
- Easy Lift Transportation – received $80,000 to enable same-day transportation services for eligible seniors and disabled people.
- Goleta Education Foundation – received $65,000 to fund a state-of-the-art STEAM Lab at El Camino Elementary School.
- Santa Barbara County Immigrant Legal Defense Center -received $65,000 to partially fund an immigration attorney supporting volunteer lawyers representing families facing deportation.
- Santa Barbara Education Foundation – received $90,000 to bring suicide prevention program “Sources of Strength” to 6,000 students and teachers at Santa Barbara High Schools.
- Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation – received $100,000 for a Library-on-the-Go mobile van to provide information, training, and library services for those with limited access.
- SEE International – received $60,000 to update optometric equipment at the Santa Barbara Vision Care Program and Clinic, expanding free eye care for low-income patients.
- Showers of Blessing – received $65,000 to purchase a mobile three-stall shower/bathroom trailer for people who are homeless.
In closing the event, Women’s Fund Membership Chair Lynn Karlson said, “Over the years, programs funded have fed families, provided medical care to vulnerable neighbors and helped young people realize their full potential. Together we’ve helped house seniors and the homeless, provided refuge for troubled teens, and protected women and children from violence. We’ve enabled transportation and access to critical services and provided dignity and comfort for those at the end of their lives….it is through our grantees that the Women’s Fund is Changing Lives Together.”