Kristina Stewart

Kristina Stewart

After a yearlong search, United Boys & Girls Clubs (UBGC) has hired Santa Ynez Valley resident Kristina Stewart to be its major gifts director.

“I am thrilled to join UBGC, which goes beyond providing after-school care by offering expanded learning programs designed to support academic success and inspire a love of learning,” Stewart said.

“We also honor the mind, body, soul connection with Triple Play, Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s first comprehensive health and wellness program which encourages every child to eat smart, stay active, and become engaged in their community through service projects,” she said.

“Everyone is welcome at UBGC, and no family is turned away from the inability to pay,” Stewart said. “As a proud resident of the Santa Ynez Valley, I am very excited about the new Solvang Club opening this month, following the successes of the Buellton Club which opened in 2017.

“I encourage everyone to join us on social media to stay up to date on all the awesome activities at each of our clubs,” she said.

“I am looking forward to working with Kristina to raise the necessary resources to reach those children that need our services the most,” said UBGC CEO Michael Baker.

Stewart started her career in fundraising and nonprofit in the late 1990s working with organizations such as National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, Santa Barbara Foundation, Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People, St. Baldrick’s Foundation, and Children’s Bureau of South California.

She said she found her passion in the nonprofit world “after a life-changing experience as a cyclist in the Boston to New York AIDS ride.”

As to why she chose UBGC as her next career move, Stewart said, “I am particularly passionate about early childhood development, and believe strong communities begin with strong families.

“As major gifts director, I have the best job ever,” she said. “I get to learn about donors’ philanthropic passions and goals and connect them with the incredible children we serve to build a mutually beneficial relationship. Our motto is Great Futures Start Here, and it brings me great joy to bring donors to that starting line.”

United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County is a nonprofit youth development agency serving children grades K-12 from 10 locations in Santa Barbara County. UBGC is a member of the national Boys & Girls Clubs of America. To schedule a tour of any of its clubs, contact Baker, 805-681-1315.

— Tina Ballue for United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County.