County Residents Set Report in 2020 With Annual Present Drive for Foster Youth | Good for Santa Barbara

December 22, 2020
| 2:32 pm

With social distancing guidelines and additional safety protocols, CASA of Santa Barbara County’s annual “Christmas Wishes” gift drive still made record-breaking donations this year with a total of 600 gifts donated. Additional cash and gift card donations of $ 6,565 also fueled the effort.

Santa Barbara County’s executive director Kim Colby Davis said the annual Christmas gift collection has been a project for 14 years but has never had a year with so many children in need.

“We were overwhelmed by the community response to this year’s event,” said Davis. “When we started years ago, we collected nearly 100 gifts. Today we are pleased to announce that over 600 gifts have been safely collected and donated to children in need this holiday season.”

Working with Child Welfare Services and other partner agencies, CASA has been able to fulfill the Christmas wishes of any child who is in the court’s care due to abuse, neglect or leaving the court.

“We couldn’t do a project on this scale without the support of our wonderful community,” said Davis. “We had more than 37 groups and individuals organizing and delivering gifts for all the children we looked after.

“We do our annual gift campaign a bit differently than most toy rides because we look after children from newborns to 20 years of age. Because of the different age groups, their wants and needs are very different, and a toy ride would not meet the needs of our little ones and ours older youth. “

“We are incredibly grateful and grateful for our collaboration with Santa Barbara County’s CASA in another successful year of Christmas wish gifts,” said Amy Krueger, assistant director of adult and children’s services for the Santa Barbara County’s Department of Social Services.

“This year we want more than ever to ensure that every child receives a gift that makes them feel loved, valued and supported,” said Krueger. “This achievement would not be possible without the enormous enthusiasm and commitment of CASA as well as the extraordinary generosity of the volunteers and donors who have made everything possible.”

Collecting the wishes of almost 600 children is an effort that is only possible thanks to around 300 CASA volunteers. With almost 200 children on the CASA waiting list, the district’s social worker made sure that each child’s wishes were made known.

Santa Barbara County’s CASA pooled the wishes and coordinated them with the many service groups, business offices, corporations, schools, and individuals looking for a positive way to give back during this challenging year.

“We didn’t know what to expect this year when we embarked on the annual gift drive,” said Davis. “We know the pandemic has hit so many people in our community, yet we had to try to make sure the children experience the joy of a wish fulfilled this Christmas.

“Our donors were just amazing. I can’t even express how touched we are by the thoughtfulness of each gift. It’s inspiring to see how the community understands the importance of giving every child something they need for Christmas or something especially wishes. “”

Kira Cosio, CASA of Santa Barbara County’s assistant director of donor engagement, has been traveling the county for the past few weeks collecting donated gifts while following all county and CDC safety protocols.

“Despite all the setbacks of the year, it was amazing to see how generous the people are,” said Cosio. “Our donors took so much pride in choosing the perfect gift. I loved seeing all the different festive gift bags, fun toys, and adorable clothes they chose.

“The highlight for me was meeting long-term CASA supporters and new donors, even if we were wearing our masks, were socially distant or arranged a contactless pick-up – we did the job.”

CASA thanks every donor who has contributed to the success of the “Christmas wishes 2020” gift campaign. In addition to numerous individual donors and groups of friends or families, the following organizations took part in the campaign:

30th Comptroller Squadron at VAFB, AGIA Affinity, Atlas Copco Santa Maria, American General Media, Santa Barbara County Childcare, Conqs for Christ at Cabrillo Senior High School, DenMat, Fighting Santa Maria Valley, Guild Mortgage Company, Hacienda Realty, Hilton Garden Inn Lompoc.

Junior League of Santa Barbara, Laguna Blanca School, Landmark Global, Kiwanis of Santa Maria – Noon, “Martha’s Angels” in the parole department, Mission Hope Cancer Center, Montecito Bank & Trust, Elementary School in Mountain View, Ontraport, Pacific Central Coast Health Centers in Marian Regional Medical Center.

Old Orcutt Barber Shop, RHS Helping Hands, Santa Barbara Rotary Club, Santa Ynez Chumash Elders Band, Sunburst Community, Titan Frozen Food, Lompoc Toyota, Santa Maria Toyota, UA Local 114, UCSB Kappa Alpha Theta, Vandenberg Air Force Base Civil Engineers, WAV Group.

The estimated value of gifts donated and distributed to children this year is $ 45,000.

Santa Barbara County’s CASA (Court Appointed Special Attorneys) is a volunteer agency with more than 300 on-site volunteers caring for approximately 500 children. Your job is to provide all abused and / or neglected children with a safe, permanent and caring home by providing a highly qualified volunteer to stand up for them in the court system.

Volunteers are needed; Information on how you can volunteer or volunteer to support the CASA mission can be found at

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