Several youth and community agencies are partnering for the first Youth Canned Food & Warm Coat Drive to help needy families in Santa Barbara.

The Santa Barbara Youth Council, the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Teen Coalition, Twelve35 Teen Center, Future Leaders of America, City at Peace, Santa Barbara High School’s Don Riderz and La Cuesta High School are working with the Collaborative Communities Foundation Girls Empowerment Program to collect canned food items, gently used coats and jackets to be donated to needy families at Casa Esperanza.

“It is important that youth get involved in service to our community, especially benefiting those less fortunate,” said Alicia Flores, a member of ADAP and the Youth Council.

Evelyn Aldapa, a San Marcos senior and member of CCF Girls Empowerment, said, ”Bringing teens together for a common goal is the best way to maximize our efforts to make a difference in a positive way. Too many times we see negative things about teens in the media, and we wanted to change that image by helping families in need.”

Junior high school students who attend Teen Programs’ Junior High Jump Off dance on Friday will receive a $2 discount on admission if they bring a donation for the drive. The dance will be from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Carrillo Recreation Center, 100 E. Carrillo St.

The public is invited to help the cause by making donations of canned food items, coats and jackets, as well as cash donations. Donations can be made at the following locations: the Twelve35 Teen Center at 1235 Chapala St., La Cuesta High School at 710 Santa Barbara St., Goleta Barbers at 5870 Hollister Ave., the ADAP office at 100 E. Carrillo St. and the Collaborative Communities Foundation office at 3944 State St., Suite 355.

For more information on how to volunteer, donate items or make a cash donation, call Roberta Payán at 805.897.2547.