Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 5:59 pm | Overcast 62º

 
 
 
 

‘Real Change, Not Spare Change’ Goes Live with Mobile Giving Campaign

Those who wish to support Santa Barbara's street outreach programs can donate $5 via text message

The Santa Barbara-based alternate giving and panhandling education campaign “Real Change, Not Spare Change” is providing education and ways for people to redirect their generosity to better help those in need in the community.

The campaign officially launched in April, with businesses around State Street, the waterfront and Milpas areas hosting countertop donation boxes. The campaign has just launched a mobile giving option.

Now, Santa Barbara residents and visitors who wish to help those in need — but don’t want to contribute to the negative cycle of panhandling — can immediately donate $5 to support street outreach programs, by sending the text message “ChangeSB” to 85944 from their mobile phones.

“Real Change, Not Spare Change” is the first local initiative to use mobile giving to support a local cause.

Street outreach has been shown to be the critical link to connect the homeless with local services that feed, shelter and rebuild lives. The street outreach programs are coordinated by the Casa Esperanza Homeless Center, which directly receives donations made by text, countertop box and online donations.

It is estimated that close to $600,000 is given in cash to panhandlers each year in Santa Barbara by residents and visitors.

“With the launch of the mobile giving option, and a growing number of businesses hosting countertop donation boxes, the campaign is providing more and more immediate alternatives for people to help,” said David Damiano, president of the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization board and a member of the Alternative Giving and Panhandling Education Task Group. “It can be hard to turn away from someone who is asking for help, and we hope these options will empower people to put their compassion and generosity to work in a way that will actually change lives for the better.”

Businesses, workplaces and other organizations are also encouraged to join the effort by using countertop donation boxes to collect funds.

“In May, when Casa Esperanza received a call requesting pickup of the first full donation box, we were encouraged at how quickly people were understanding how even small gifts can add up to the priceless gift of a life off the streets,” Damiano said.

The first full donation box yielded nearly $40 in change and small bills in funds that otherwise would most likely have contributed to the purchase of alcohol or drugs.

The boxes are available through the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization. Casa Esperanza staff and volunteers collect the donations on a regular pickup schedule or can be called for special pickup when a donation box is full. To reserve a donation box and other materials, businesses or community groups should call the Downtown Organization at 805.962.2098 x25.

Click here for more information about “Real Change, Not Spare Change.”

— Marjorie Wass is a publicist.

 

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >