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Local News

Isla Vista Youth Projects Secures Fundraising Goal Just in Time for the New Year

Organization reaches its goal of $300,000 to purchase Children's Center building

The Isla Vista Youth Projects reached its $300,000 fundraising goal for its capital campaign to purchase its Children’s Center building. Click to view larger
The Isla Vista Youth Projects reached its $300,000 fundraising goal for its capital campaign to purchase its Children’s Center building. (Isla Vista Youth Project photo)

Many regard Isla Vista as strictly a college town, and while the area surrounding UCSB is certainly dominated by students, there is another population to consider: the children of Isla Vista.

This population, which often is overlooked by the Santa Barbara community, is the sole focus of the Isla Vista Youth Projects. The community-based agency was founded in 1971, and has been serving Isla Vista and Goleta children and families for the past 45 years. In 2016, IVYP served close to 2,500 children and families.

The Hutton-Parker Foundation and the Orfalea Foundation bought the site used by IVYP for the Children’s Center in 2004, when the IVYP lost its original location in the heart of Isla Vista.

The Orfalea Foundation sunset and IVYP started the capital campaign to purchase the building and secure the Children’s Center as a resource for future generations.

Given the scarcity of real estate available in the Isla Vista community, the building came with a steep price tag of 1.2 million dollars. After qualifying for a grant promising to match $300,000 if  IVYP raised $300,000 by Dec. 31, the race was on to secure funds.

Following several community fundraisers and an Amazon Smile fundraising campaign, IVYP was off pace by just $6,000 in the week preceding the New Year’s Eve deadline. Luckily, following some last minute donations, IVYP met its goal in time for the New Year.

LuAnn Miller, the executive director of IVYP since 1986, shared the happy news, saying, “We want to thank the many individual, business, and foundation donors for their support. (We) are very, very appreciative.”

The Children’s Center provides year-round, full day care and education for nearly 100 children per day. Click to view larger
The Children’s Center provides year-round, full day care and education for nearly 100 children per day. (Isla Vista Youth Project photo)

Miller said purchasing the building ensures the tenure of IVYP and the work they do at the Children’s Center.

“It’s more than just a building, it’s home to almost 100 children a day,” Miller said. “(Purchasing the building is) not only an investment in children, but also a statement that all children are important.”

IVYP runs several programs to benefit children and families in the area, including a family resource center, an afterschool and summer program, Thrive Isla Vista, and the Isla Vista Children’s Center.

The Children’s Center serves Isla Vista and Goleta children up to 6 years old, 85 percent of whom come from a low socio-economic background. As a state-licensed child development program, the Children’s Center provides low-cost professional child-care and enrichment for these children and their families.

While the fundraising campaign to purchase the building was successful, there is still more work to be done, Miller said.

The fundraising efforts will continue into 2017 in the hopes of raising an additional $700,000 for renovation, maintenance, outdoor classroom playground improvements, and solar panels.

Noozhawk intern Dani DeVries can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

The Isla Vista Youth Projects will continue its capital campaign for Children’s Center building improvements. Click to view larger
The Isla Vista Youth Projects will continue its capital campaign for Children’s Center building improvements.  (Isla Vista Youth Project photo)

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