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WillBridge of Santa Barbara Readies for 5th Annual Inter-Faith Homeless Foot Washing

April 5 service goes beyond Maundy Thursday tradition to include personal care kits

Exuberant volunteers from WillBridge of Santa Barbara, doctors, nurses, psychologists and other professionals are gearing up for the fifth annual homeless foot-washing event. The April 5 event is an effective tool to connect the most vulnerable to the services and programs they need toward the road to self-sufficiency and a healthier life.

Although spearheaded by WillBridge, the event is a collaborative partnership between many nonprofit and public agencies, including the Santa Barbara Housing Authority, Crisis and Recovery Emergency Services (C.A.R.E.S.), Santa Barbara Council of Alcoholism & Drug Abuse’s Project Recovery, Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County and Doctors Without Walls.

Highlights of the day include breakfast, new tennis shoes, boots or sandals (with new socks), an opportunity for the homeless to have their feet washed, and a visit with local resources at the Resource Connection Center where social workers, alcohol and drug counselors and other professional health-care workers can assist individuals wanting and needing support. Guests leave with a healthy lunch (sandwich/fruit/snack/water) and a Personal Care Kit (toothbrush and tooth paste, powder, shampoo, lotion and soap).

The event is held each year on Maundy Thursday, coinciding with traditional foot-washing services held throughout the world. Foot washing shows homeless people that they are not invisible, but are loved and cared for.

This year, the foot washing will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 5, at the Veterans Memorial Building, 112 W. Cabrillo Blvd. in Santa Barbara.

Contributions are sought to help WillBridge support this event. A donation of $40 will purchase new shoes, socks and food. WillBridge is also seeking donations for “Personal Care Kits,” including small travel sizes of toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo and soap.

Click here for more information on the nonprofit WillBridge of Santa Barbara, or call 805.564.1911. Click here to make an online donation.

— Gloria Regan is with WillBridge of Santa Barbara.

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