United Way of Santa Barbara County’s 2021 Holiday Gift Drive Supports Over 200 Children this Holiday Season

The scholar above (Alexa) received her unique gift of a Harvard sweatshirt this holiday season. 

United Way of Santa Barbara County’s (UWSBC) 2021 Holiday Gift Drive supported over 200 children throughout the county this year. Workplaces and individual donors adopted students and fulfilled each child’s unique wish list. In addition to receiving gifts from workplaces and individual donors, gifts were also received from various events (such as UCSB Arts & Lectures concerts at the Arlington and Women United Holiday event). All presents were provided to families in need that were identified by participating schools and organizations. 

Earlier this week, at Franklin school, UWSBC met a young student named Alexa who is one of 7 children. Her family currently rents part of a living room in an apartment. Her dream is to attend Harvard Law School and become a lawyer. One of her wish list items was a Harvard sweatshirt which she received thanks to one of the donors. 

Another family in contact with United Way through the ERAP program experienced extreme hardship recently when their residence burned down and they lost everything. The United Way team made sure the family, including the parents, were not forgotten this holiday season by gifting them new clothes, gift cards and even a new bike!

“It is such a great feeling knowing how many children in need received gifts thanks to our generous supporters. We could not have been able to bring the spirit of the holidays to so many children without their help,” said Steve Ortiz, President & CEO, United Way of Santa Barbara County. “Thank you to all those involved this holiday season.” 

Companies involved: 

  • American Indian Health & Services
  • Cottage Health 
  • L3Harris 
  • Simple Feast 
  • Zia Group 
  • Bechtel 
  • Northern Trust 
  • City National Bank 
  • ExxonMobil 
  • CenCal Health 
  • UC Santa Barbara 
  • Village Properties 
  • Young Leaders Society 
  • Women United 
  • United Way of Santa Barbara County 
  • Community Members 
Organizations Supported: 

  • Adelante Charter School 
  • Franklin Elementary School 
  • Girls Inc. 
  • Guadalupe School District 
  • Harding Elementary School 
  • Manzanita Public Charter School
  • Oak Valley Elementary School 
  • Santa Barbara Community Academy 
  • ERAP Families 
  • Santa Barbara Junior High School
  • Solvang Elementary School 
  • United Way Grad Academy 



About United Way of Santa Barbara County 

Since 1923, United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has been a key leader in local efforts to empower children, families, and communities through its own unique collaborative programs and initiatives, partnership convening efforts, volunteer development, and funding. UWSBC’s mission is to enrich the lives of children and families and build resilient communities by leading local programs and partnerships that improve school readiness and academic achievement, financial empowerment, and crisis response and recovery. To learn more, please visit unitedwaysb.org

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