Tragedy has once again struck our sleepy little beach town, this time more devastating than before. In this time, many people both local and distant are wondering what they can do to help. As we appreciate all of the positive thoughts we have received so far, there are a few things you can do to help Montecito and all those affected. If you are in need of resources scroll to the end of this article to see some of the things available to you.
Listen and Support
Most of those affected, whether directly or indirectly, are experiencing symptoms similar to Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). We are still coming to terms with what we have experienced over the past five weeks between the Thomas fire and now the mudslides in Montecito. There has been so much fear, anxiety and stress. And now, we are moving into disbelief, sadness and profound grief. The simple act of active listening to others will help tremendously. Don't pressure them into talking or telling their story. Try to get them to do "normal" things. Let them take the lead rather them telling them what to do or how to feel. Be patient with them, and most importantly, be aware of your own well-being and if you are feeling stressed by the event. We need to care for ourselves as we care for one another.
If you would like to donate to organizations assisting the people of Montecito you can either donate to Direct Relief or United Way. Portlight is an organization specifically helping survivors with disabilities. A local church is also offering mental and physical support to those involved in anyway. Click to be taken to their websites.
Donate Locally (they also accept online donations!)
Mad Fitness located at 1236 Chapala st in Santa Barbara is collection clothing, household items, or anything you think may help and taking them to the Shelter at the SBCC gym with the Red Cross. You can also connect with those in need with the following facebook link: Volunteer and Give
Volunteer and Donate with a Food Bank
Donate to those Helping Animals
Donate Diapers and Baby Items
If You Need Help
If you are in need of a place to stay, either from losing your home or as a commuter, you can get a list of hotels with special rates here. Many people are opening their homes and providing any service they can to help, see the Facebook post here. The Red Cross has also set up a shelter center at the gym located in SBCC. It is located at 721 Cliff Drive in Santa Barbara. Park in Lot 1B, east campus. You can call (805) 687-0766 for more information. You can also visit the Family Assitance Center at the First Presbyterian Church located at 21 E. Constance Ave. in Santa Barbara, contact them at (805)-364-1822 8am-8pm.
Things You May Need
Need A free mattress after experiencing the mudslide? Click here.
Need food? Luna Grill is donating food. Click their link for more info.
Need clothing? Check out this local shop.
Animals: The Earl Warren Showgrounds is taking large and small animals. For small animals, you can call the Santa Barbara Humane Society to assist you with your animal. Contact: (805)964-4777 Located at 5399 Overpass rd. San Roque Pet Hospital is also offering free pet boarding, reach them at (805) 682-2647.
Need Diapers? Find a Diaper Bank near you.
Looking for a place to get work done? Impact Hub is offering a place for people to work, use Wi-Fi and is offering warm beverages. Also, Regus in Downtown Santa Barbara is offering a workplace for displaced individuals.
Need to get to Santa Barbara from Ventura? Since they are not sure when the 101 will reopen, you can catch a boat ride from Ventura to Santa Barbara harbor through the Condor Express & Island Packers. Their is also the option of the train. If you work in emergency services (hospital, fire, police, other critical emergency services) you can get free air transportation. Click here.
Need to replace family portraits? Our Creative Director is offering her photographic and printing services to help you replace those moments. Click here.
Register for Alerts
Stay informed: If you are a local looking to stay in touch with other locals, join these Facebook groups.
In this devastating time, we ask that everyone stay positive and spread love! We are aware of those saying hateful and hurtful things about this situation. If you encounter these people and their comments, instead of allowing their hate to sink into your soul, remember that they are most likely miss informed and jumping to conclusions. No one predicted the mudslides would be this horrific. Many people that were in the voluntary evacuation zones, were some of the people who got hit the hardest.
We love you all,
Nikki Anne Spahn
Wellness Advocate & Creative Director - Makes 3 Organics