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Red Cross Receives $250,000 Boost for New Preparedness Center

The anonymous donations put the Santa Barbara County Chapter just shy of its $2.8 million goal.

The American Red Cross, Santa Barbara County Chapter has received gifts totaling $250,000 from two anonymous donors. With these gifts, the chapter has reached 97 percent of its $2.8 million goal to build a new American Red Cross Preparedness and Response Center in Santa Maria.

As the fastest-growing population in Santa Barbara County, Santa Maria and its neighboring communities can no longer depend on Red Cross disaster and emergency resources of southern Santa Barbara County. It is critical that the northern region of the county have its own Red Cross resources to respond to emergency situations. 

Eighteen months ago, in response to this need, the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross, Santa Barbara County Chapter purchased an 11,750-square-foot warehouse at 3030 Skyway Drive in Santa Maria for $1.3 million. Soon after, the chapter launched a Capacity Building Campaign to raise an additional $1.5 million from individuals, businesses and foundations to transform this empty warehouse into a new Red Cross Preparedness and Response Center serving northern Santa Barbara County.

Specifically, this new Red Cross Preparedness and Response Center provides three well-equipped large classrooms that dramatically expand its ability to offer first aid, CPR and other emergency preparedness and disaster training. The space also can be reconfigured into an Emergency Operations Center in a disaster.

In addition, the center offers a centralized storage space for cots, blankets and comfort kits to ensure these and other items are in the field when needed; restrooms and a kitchen to support 100 people for training or in an emergency; office and workspace for volunteer and paid staff; and a meeting space for outside community groups.

Several months ago, the chapter received a $250,000 challenge grant from the Weingart Foundation for this campaign. To receive those funds, the $1.5 million goal must be reached. 

Help the Red Cross chapter reach its $1.5 million goal and qualify for the Weingart Foundation match. Every gift will help. Call 805.928.0778 or send contributions to 3030 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93458, or make a contribution online at

All donors of $1,000 or more will be recognized on the Donor Wall in the new Red Cross facility, and 100 percent of each donation will support the fundraising effort. Call 805.687.1331 for more information.

Daniella Elghanayan of SurfMedia Communications represents the Santa Barbara County Chapter of the American Red Cross.


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