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Weingart Foundation Gives Hillside House a Big Financial Boost

Santa Barbara nonprofit says the two-year, $150,000 grant will help it expand support for its work

The Weingart Foundation has pledged a two-year grant of $150,000 to Hillside House of Santa Barbara in core support for operating expenses.

The foundation donated $75,000 to help the nonprofit meet fundraising needs for 2010, with an additional $75,000 pledged as a matching grant for 2011 to encourage Hillside House in its fundraising efforts.

Hillside House is a 59-bed residential facility in Santa Barbara that has been providing a home, therapeutic care and life-enrichment programs for people with developmental disabilities for more than 65 years.

Hillside House’s mission is “to provide a home that supports our residents’ efforts to maximize their physical, cognitive, social and emotional abilities so that they can attain their highest level of independence in an environment where people are treated with dignity and respect.”

“We are so grateful to learn of the Weingart Foundation’s major gift,” said Curtis Lauber, director of development at Hillside House. “The grant comes at a time when individual donations have been down for the past two years and foundation support has become more competitive than ever. We were facing a major shortfall in our fundraising goal for 2010 until we learned of the Weingart Foundation’s generous grant. Now we will not have to face cutting vital programs or services to our residents.”

Lauber said the matching gift for this year will help the nonprofit reach out to donors and expand community support for the work of Hillside House, helping people with disabilities to develop their abilities, express their potentials and live full lives.

“It motivates us to express our needs as clearly as we can, to communicate to our community how much we need support to take care of those among us who live with extraordinary challenges and extraordinary gifts,” he said.

While Medi-Cal rates have been virtually frozen for three years, the costs of providing the kind of medically intensive and individualized care that Hillside House offers continue to increase. Lauber said reports show that nonprofits around the country have been hit hard by the recession, while those being served by those nonprofits are more in need than ever.

“People have to reach out to each other in times of need,” he said. “We hope our community will respond.”

For more information, click here or call 805.687.0788 x15.

— Curtis Lauber is the director of development at Hillside House.

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