The Foundation for Santa Barbara High School's board membersDirect Relief has donated $100,000 to the Foundation for Santa Barbara High School (Foundation for SBHS) to be distributed to current Santa Barbara High School students and their families directly impacted by the Thomas Fire and Montecito Debris Flows. There are 200 families at this local high school who live within the 93108 zip code and many other families who work in that area.

The $100,000 donation supports the Foundation for SBHS’s #SBHSStrong, a Dons fund drive that was established in February 2018 in the aftermath of the devastating 1/9 debris flow. #SBHSStrong supports current Santa Barbara High families who suffered loss of personal property and/or reduced income due to evacuation orders and the inability to work because of business and road closures. The ultimate goal is to ensure the continuance of students’ academic success.

“The double tragedy of the fire and mudslide was devastating to our Santa Barbara High Don’s community and while the Parent Teacher Student Association and Alumni Association collected and distributed gift cards, we wanted to do more. We are so grateful to those who supported the fund and to Direct Relief for this extremely generous grant,” said Santa Barbara High School Principal John Becchio, Ed.D.

“Direct Relief extends its deepest sympathies to members of the student community impacted by the Thomas Fire and Mudslide,” said Damon Taugher, Direct Relief’s Director of U.S. Programs. “By joining with the Foundation for Santa Barbara High School, Direct Relief pledges support for this critical initiative, in hopes that it will restore some sense of normalcy and forward momentum to students working through these tragedies at a personal level.”

“We really see #SBHSStrong as an opportunity to unite our community to support the educational success of Santa Barbara High students directly impacted by the Thomas Fire and Montecito Debris Flow,” explained Foundation for SBHS Board President Kate Murphy. “We believe in a strong and bright future for our community and believe schools are the heart of that effort. With the extremely generous support for #SBHSStrong from Direct Relief, and Santa Barbara High School’s personal relationships with students and families, we will be able to make a significant impact.”

Santa Barbara High School will work closely with the Foundation, school counselors and teachers to identify families who will benefit from this donation. Anyone can nominate a current impacted Santa Barbara High School family or student to receive a financial gift. All requests are strictly confidential and will be approved by Board volunteers, lead Santa Barbara High School counselor and/or Principal Becchio. Over a dozen impacted families will be receiving financial gifts immediately with the goal to disburse all funds by the end of the 2017/18 school year.

The Foundation for Santa Barbara High School:

The Foundation for SBHS supports the principal, teachers and staff at SBHS in their efforts to deliver the best education possible. The Foundation’s purpose is to ‘benefit every student and strengthen our community.’ For ten years the board has met fundraising goals with contributions to the Dons Fund from parents, alumni, community supporters and local stakeholders. Learn more about the Foundation for SBHS’ Dons Fund, including background for #SBHSStrong on the Foundation’s website: Follow #SBHSStrong on Facebook and Twitter.