Thursday, May 24 , 2018, 9:58 pm | Overcast 58º


Boys and Girls Clubs Reach Out to Help Schools, Families

The United Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County provide services for families in Carpinteria, Santa Barbara Westside, Goleta, Lompoc, and recently in Buellton.

During the Thomas Fire in December, these services were expanded when schools closed across the county. Because the Buellton Club operates out of school facilities, club vans transported children from Buellton to the Lompoc Club.

Hours at all the clubs were expanded so children could come in as early as 7:30 a.m. For many parents, this was the only resource they had available so they could continue to work.

With the tragedy of the recent mudslides, United has partnered with Crane Country Day School to house its displaced students at the Carpinteria Club.

“We would like everyone to know that we have additional space available between 7 a.m.-2 p.m. daily at our Westside and Goleta Clubs for any other displaced youth organizations,” said club CEO Michael Baker.

“In light of the recent mudslides and wildfires that have impacted our community, we are committed, now more than ever, to helping those that need us most,” he said.

United is offering scholarship memberships for any school-aged child who has been impacted by the wildfires and/or mudslides.  Families in need can use any of the club’s resources at no cost, the club said.

Acknowledging the heroics of the first responders, Baker said, “As a big thank you, we would like to also offer this scholarship opportunity to any child of a first responder or police officer.

"The heroics of the first responders is such an inspiration, we are now seeing an uptick in the number of younger members who say that they want to be a firefighter when they grow up,” Baker said.

“Since there are so many families that need us right now we want our professional staff to focus 100 percent of their time on helping those families," said Eloy Ortega, United Board chairman.

"Therefore, we have decided to postpone our major fundraising event, our Rally 4 Kids, until mid-July,” Ortega said.

“This decision will allow our talented staff the ability to spend all of their time on what they do best, helping provide a safe and positive environment for the youth that need us to be there for them," Ortega said.

For more information about the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County, visit or contact Baker at 681-1315.

— Michael Baker for United Boys and Girls Clubs.


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