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Santa Barbara Businesses Can Help Make ‘Real Change’

The deadline is Friday to sign up for the second 'Real Change Day' to support street outreach

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. On July 21, local businesses supported the cause by dedicating a percentage of their sales that day to the Real Change Campaign.

Now, “Real Change, Not Spare Change” is holding another “Real Change Day” on Wednesday, Oct. 20, and all Santa Barbara businesses are encouraged to participate. The deadline for businesses to sign up is this Friday, Oct. 1. Businesses must sign up by the deadline in order to be eligible for the promotional benefits.

Click here to download a participation form.

Donations from the second Real Change Day will be managed by Casa Esperanza to help fund the street outreach that is the key to connecting the homeless with food, shelter and other existing local services that help transition them out of homelessness. The Santa Barbara Downtown Organization is organizing Real Change Day, this time in coordination with its Epicure.SB monthlong culinary event during October.

Businesses can decide the donation they would like to offer to “Real Change, Not Spare Change,” a donation amount or percent of Oct. 20 sales. Real Change Day will be promoted through media sponsorships and other publicity to encourage the community to make a real change on Oct. 20 by patronizing participating restaurants, retail and other local businesses. All participating businesses will be listed in publicity materials, sponsored advertising and on the Real Change campaign Web site. Logos can be included for those signing up by the Oct. 1 deadline.

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 Homeless Center 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, call the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization at 805.962.2098 x25.

Santa Barbara residents and visitors are encouraged to participate in Real Change Day by purchasing goods and services from participating businesses on Oct. 20. Additionally, the public is being asked to make $5 donations from their cell phones on Oct. 20 by texting “ChangeSB” to 85944, or clicking here to donate online. 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.

— Marjorie Wass is a publicist.


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