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78 Montecito Magazine Spring–Summer 2018 A Community Stands Together The SBCC Foundation relies on privately raised funds. Discover more at www.sbccfoundation.org. By Adele Menichella SBCC President Anthony Beebe welcomes MUS students to the SBCC campus for seven school days. On January 18, 2018—nine days after the post- Thomas Fire debris fl ow wrought its destructive path through Montecito—hundreds of K–6 students fromMontecito Union School (MUS) gathered under a massive tent canopy in front of Santa Barbara City College’s Student Services building, voices raised in song. Parents, teachers and SBCC st aff caught a wave of emotion as lyrics to MUS’s school song took on special meaning: “I believe in miracles you can see one here because we are all standing together” A mid the personal and material losses su ff ered by so many and the evacuation of entire neighborhoods, the fact that school could be held at all lent a semblance of normalcy to a time of crisis. SBCC’s welcoming acreage—with portable classrooms, a generous outdoor play area and scenic vistas—brought the young students respite from the stresses of disaster. Although damage to the MUS campus on San Ysidro Road was relatively minor, the roads surrounding the school remained impassable. Power, gas and water supplies were inoperable. Many MUS families were unable to return home. In response to these community crises, starting with the Thomas Fire evacuations in December, SBCC and the SBCC Foundation rose up to help in big ways. The Red Cross Shelter at the SBCC Sports Pavilion became home to 150 people. First responders were housed at the Campus Center. When SBCC President Anthony Beebe invited the displaced MUS students to the campus, SBCC Foundation CEO Ge off Green chose to off r additional assistance to families impacted by the fi re and debris fl ow. “Parents and students were already converging on campus, so we reached out to community aid organizations and worked with MUS parents to host a resource fair for families,” Green explains. Using cash on hand, SBCC Foundation “went entrepreneurial,” according to Green. After classes let out, students challenged themselves on a climbing wall set up by the Santa Barbara Zoo and enjoyed snacks from the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County while parents met with on-site caseworkers, insurance counselors and Recovery Center staff As an independent fundraising entity in support of an educational institution, the SBCC Foundation has “the fl xibility to respond to needs as they arise in the campus community,” says Green. For example, during the Thomas Fire, the foundation was quick to extend emergency grants to those who lost personal property. When Highway 101 remained closed for nearly two weeks, stranding 1,000 students and 150 employees on the south side of the fl ow, the foundation off red commuter reimbursement funds for those using Amtrak and water taxis and, later, for those drivers needing overnight lodging after taking a fi e-hour detour to campus. The foundation also partnered with nonpro fi t organizations working the front lines in the recovery eff ort, serving as the fi cal agent for the SB Support Network and the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade. After describing the outpouring of support from private philanthropists and local aid organizations, Green re fl ects, “Who would’ve thought a community college would be the ideal response vehicle in a time of crisis?” u