Ways we can help our community

This page lists opportunities Luria Library learns about for community volunteering and valid sources for donations in the aftermath of the Thomas Fire and Montecito mudslide event, as well as for long-term and on-going opportunities to help our community. Neither SBCC nor Eli Luria Library endorse any specific organization, but we have verified the reliability of all sources.

If your group or organization is hosting a fundraiser event or seeking volunteers to help with local relief efforts, or if you learn of other volunteer ideas, please email the details to library@sbcc.edu and we will post.

The true beauty of this community is that we have so many willing helpers. Especially now, many of us are overcome with an intense desire to DO something, but perhaps don’t know what to do or how to do it…Whatever it is you feel drawn to do to care for the community, each interaction has infinite power and immeasurable potential for good. Let’s all look out for each other.” – Santa Barbara County Education Office’s Partners in Education

Disaster relief related

  • American Red Cross: Accepting monetary donations. To donate, text redcross to 90999.
  • Direct Relief: This Santa Barbara-based organization provides resources to areas around the world that are facing emergencies or poverty. They have done and continue to do so much, since the beginning of the Thomas Fire, to help this region.
    Volunteer locally, or donate to local or international relief efforts.
  • Habitat for Humanity of South Santa Barbara County is looking of volunteers and donations as part of it’s Habitat’s Thomas Fire and Flood Disaster Relief Fund
  • If you are on Facebook: Once you have marked yourself safe in The Mudslide in Santa Barbara County, you can offer assistance and resources to the community in general on the same page; search for “Montecito Community Thomas Fire Mudslide Volunteer Labor Network.” Be safe and keep in mind that everyone can see or contact you if you post an offer on this page, including potential scammers.
  • National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Santa Paula, California, whose mission is to strengthen disaster response in America by rescuing and recruiting dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disaster
  • United Way of Santa Barbara: Here is current info on which major organizations are accepting donations and volunteers. Donations to United Way in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties are being combined into one fund for the Thomas Fire, flood and mudslides: unitedwaythomasfirefund.org or text UWVC to 41444. 100% of the donations will go directly to those affected by the fires.
  • Unity Shoppe at 1401 Chapala Street: Call to see what they are accepting currently. Suggested items include new clothing, blankets, toiletries, unopened food, and monetary donations.

Education related

  • Partners In Education: They have written “Contact us at partners@sbceo.org or 805-964-4710 ext. 4401. If you would like to serve in our schools and nonprofit sites, our Volunteer Opportunities page is always a good place to start.”
  • SBCC Foundation: Always raising funds to build SBCC student success, the Foundation is also working to support members of the campus community who have been impacted by the recent disasters. Consider donating for current or long-term projects that will aid SBCC students, staff, and faculty.
  • SBCC encourages rideshare/ride-offering: Many SBCC students, staff, and faculty live on the other side of the mudslides and truly can’t bring their cars. Could you pick someone up at Amtrak, or drive someone to campus who is staying in your neighborhood during the evacuation?” Sign up here!

Community related

  • Food Bank of Santa Barbara County: Contact them for volunteer opportunities at their warehouse or harvesting fresh produce. Call them at (805) 967-5741, find them on Twitter, or
    donate funds or food.
  • Salvation Army: Accepting donations of canned or other unopened food, as well as monetary donations, at 423 Chapala Street.
  • Santa Barbara Humane Society: In addition to their usual work for our community, the SB Humane Society has also been sheltering animals displaced during the recent evacuations. Donate funds or supplies, or volunteer.
  • Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network: Wildfires and major storms impact local wildlife as well. SBWCN provides wildlife rescue, treatment, rehabilitation and release services. They are a volunteer-run organization with all work funded by donations. Volunteer, donate funds, or donate supplies.
  • Support our local food, arts, and business: The local economy has been hit hard with recent events, and the closure of Highway 101 makes it more challenging, expensive, and unsustainable to transport materials. Please explore local shops and entertainment, and support our area’s economy when possible, before jumping online or heading out of town to make purchases.
  • Last, but not least, check in with your friends and neighbors: We likely all know someone who has been impacted personally. Reach out to the people around you. Do you have a couch someone could sleep on for a couple nights while they are evacuated from their home, or could you look after their pet for the week? Could you order someone a pizza, or make dinner for them? Do you have a spare jacket or bag you could offer someone?
    If not, just having someone to talk with and share their experiences might be what they want the most.
    If it is more help than you can offer here is how you or they can find the help they need. Dialing 211 on any phone, or going to www.211santabarbaracounty.org, is the best way to get connected to all resources in Santa Barbara County, 24/7.

Emergency Preparedness

Even More Resources