How to Help Montecito Mudslide Victims

Recovery from the Montecito mudslides and debris flows will be a long process, and local residents want to help however they can.

There are ways to donate, volunteer and otherwise support families who have lost loved ones, people who have lost their homes, and the emergency response effort.

Counselors can donate their time by calling the Santa Barbara County call center at 833.688.5551 and asking to speak to the community wellness team, which is gathering a list of volunteers.

The United Way of Santa Barbara County and United Way of Ventura County fundraising effort for Thomas Fire victims has been expanded to include flood victims, the organizations said this week.

All donations to the United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund go directly to people impacted by the disasters, they said.

As of this week, about $2.7 million has been raised for the fund.

Donations can be made online here, by texting UWVC to 41444; by calling the Ventura office at 805.485.6288 or Santa Barbara office at 805.965.8591.

People can also send in checks directly, with “Thomas Fire Fund” in the memo.

The United Way of Santa Barbara County: 320 E. Gutierrez St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

The United Way of Ventura County: 702 County Square Drive, Suite 100, Ventura, CA 93003.

Santa Barbara County released a list of verified organizations that are accepting monetary donations and needed items:

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County: Monetary donations, nonperishable foods, and fresh produce are accepted at:

» 4554 Hollister Ave., Santa Barbara

» 1525 State St., Ste 100, Santa Barbara

» 490 W. Foster Rd., Santa Maria

The Foodbank also has emergency food distribution sites for people who have been displaced from their homes or are facing economic hardships from lost work after the Thomas Fire and Montecito floods. They need volunteers, too.

Salvation Army: Unopened and canned food and monetary donations are accepted at 423 Chapala St., Santa Barbara.

Unity Shoppe: New clothing, shoes, blankets, toiletries and monetary donations are accepted at 1401 Chapala St., Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara Partners in Education places volunteers in local schools, and people can sign up online. Schools and nonprofit organizations can also request volunteers.

In light of recent disasters, the community’s needs are changing, and Partners in Education will need to adapt to meet new requests for volunteer support, Executive Director Chelsea Duffy said in an email message. Contact the organization for more information, at or 805.964.4710 extension 4401.

The United Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara County says that any children who have been displaced can come to any of its club locations. The clubs are a place for kids to go if their parents are at work and making a longer commute than usual, said Erynn Wanek, vice president of development for the organization.

Monetary donations can also be made to agencies supporting the disaster response for the Montecito Flood, including the American Red Cross and Direct Relief. People can also sign up to volunteer through the Red Cross’ website.

There are several grassroots efforts to collect needed donations for families who have lost their homes or are evacuated, including a Santa Barbara Helpers site connecting families in need directly to people who can help.


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