Four Montecito churches worked together recently to provide 350 backpacks filled with school supplies for Peoples’ Self-Help Housing children from Carpinteria to Isla Vista.

Volunteers included 125 members from the Community of Montecito Churches (M4), including All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, El Montecito Presbyterian Church, Montecito Covenant Church and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church.

Volunteers assembled at El Montecito Presbyterian Church, 1455 E. Valley Road, to stuff the backpacks, and $20,000 of backpacks and school supplies were donated by the four churches and their parishioners.

Peoples’ Self-Help Housing delivered the backpacks to children in their affordable housing developments.

“The leadership and parishioners of the four churches are truly grateful for this opportunity to serve these local children of lower-income families, through Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, and to help guarantee that they have the tools necessary to thrive in their school environments,” said Montecito Covenant Church Senior Pastor Don Johnson, a spokesman for the Community of Montecito Churches.

Every backpack received a written blessing from one of the 125 volunteers who came out to work on this project.

Peoples’ Self-Help Housing was founded in 1970 to address the serious affordable housing needs on the Central Coast and its accompanying social problems. Its mission is to create self-help home ownership opportunities, quality low-income rental housing, as well as youth education, health and community services to low-income families, seniors and special-needs groups living in PSHH facilities.

To date, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing has assisted 1,100 low-income households build their first home, developed 1,350 affordable rental units, serving 5,000 residents throughout San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

For more information on how to donate to the M4 Backpack Project, call Rochelle Rose at PSSH at 805.962.5152 x227 or click here.

— Rochelle Rose is the fund development director and youth education manager for Peoples’s Self-Help Housing.