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Tuesday, March 19 , 2019, 2:31 pm | Partly Cloudy with Haze 58º


Friendship Center Goleta Receives Surprise Donation from BEI Sensors

All that was missing was Ed McMahon. On a recent Wednesday morning at Friendship Center Goleta, while members and staff were getting ready for their morning activities, some people came knocking on the door with a giant check — literally.

Friendship Center, the South Coast’s only nonprofit adult day services center, was thrilled to learn that they had been chosen as the lucky recipient of the $1,000 quarterly charitable donation made by Goleta-based BEI Sensors, a brand of Custom Sensors & Technologies. The proceedings were made especially festive with the presentation of an oversized check to commemorate the occasion.

Representatives from BEI, Leila Briem and Christine Hall, were on hand to present the big check to Friendship Center Goleta’s program coordinator Debbie Renaud and family services/administrator Tracy Cohn. Two Friendship Center members were pleased to step in and pose for the photo as well.

A few years ago, the company started something called CSR — Corporate Social Responsibility. Charitable contributions are guided by a CSR committee of four members. However, these funds are not corporate-provided, but generated by two snack machines and a soda machine at the company. Quarterly, a drawing is held from employee-submitted suggestions to choose the recipient of the profits from the vending machines.

Hall is the employee who suggested Friendship Center for the contribution, and also plans on volunteering at the center in the future.

“I first heard of Friendship Center when I worked at Medtronic,” she said. “The HR department showed a video about it at an employee gathering. My parents had retired to a rural area in New Jersey, and recently my mom passed. Now I'm looking into moving my dad to California, thinking Friendship Center would provide him with opportunities to meet people and make new friends.”

Friendship Center is thankful for generosity from individuals and businesses in our community.

"As the number of seniors in Santa Barbara continues to increase, Friendship Center's services have become more important than ever,” Executive Director Heidi Holly said. “With support from BEI Sensors, Friendship Center can continue to provide innovative and quality services and programs. We are grateful for their generosity, and for all they do to help improve the quality of life for seniors and caregivers living in our community."

For more information on Friendship Center’s services, click here or call 805.969.0859.

— Justine Sutton is a grants and development coordinator for Friendship Center.

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