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Deadline Extended for Businesses to Sign Up for Inaugural ‘Real Change Day’

Restaurants, retailers and others are invited to support local street outreach programs

In April, the alternate giving and panhandling education campaign “Real Change, Not Spare Change” was launched to provide education and ways for people in Santa Barbara to redirect their generosity to better help those in need in the community. Now, all Santa Barbara businesses are invited to support the cause on July 21, the campaign’s first “Real Change Day.”

On this day, businesses are asked to dedicate a percentage of their sales as a donation to the “Real Change, Not Spare Change” campaign. The donation will be managed by Casa Esperanza to help fund the street outreach that is the key to connecting the homeless with needed services. The deadline for businesses to participate in the first “Real Change Day” has been extended until Friday, July 9.

Businesses can decide the donation they would like to offer to “Real Change, Not Spare Change,” a donation amount or percent of July 21 sales.

“Real Change Day” will be promoted through media sponsorships and other publicity to encourage the community to make a Real Change on July 21 by patronizing participating restaurants, retail and other local businesses. All participating businesses will be listed in publicity materials and on the Real Change campaign Web site. Logos can be included for those signing up by the July 9 deadline. Click here to download a participation form.

Businesses, workplaces and community groups also can help support Real Change at any time by hosting countertop donation boxes, countertop signs or posters.

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 receive a donation box and other materials, businesses or community groups should call the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization at 805.962.2098 x25.

Santa Barbara residents and visitors are encouraged to participate in this first Real Change Day by purchasing goods and services from participating businesses on July 21. Additionally, those interested can contribute to “Real Change, Not Spare Change” online or by cell phone by texting “ChangeSB” to 85944. The Web site also includes ideas for other ways to support or get involved with local services.

An estimated $600,000 is given by residents and visitors to people who panhandle in Santa Barbara each year. Real Change aims to redirect this generosity and compassion to support the local services that serve those in need.

Click here for more information about the campaign.

— Marjorie Wass is a publicist.

 

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