News Articles

6/26/2020

June 26, 2020

The Santa Barbara Immigrant Legal Defense Center (ILDC) has hired Maria Vega as its first full-time staff attorney. Vega will lead the nonprofit’s efforts in providing legal representation to local community members facing deportation. 

Vega joins the ILDC with extensive experience in public interest and immigration law, after time at both the Northwest Justice Project and Colectiva Legal del Pueblo in Washington. She is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law, where she was honored for her service to the community and her dedication to human rights... Read More

5/18/2020

MAY 18, 2020

A bright spot in education in these challenging times, the Goleta Education Foundation is thrilled and grateful to announce receipt of a $65,000 grant awarded by the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara to create a STEAM lab at El Camino School. The existing computer center, with fixed seating and outdated equipment, will be transformed with flexible seating, interactive monitors, laptops, and tablets. The lab will also be equipped with digital media production equipment, a green screen, and video design and editing software. Hands-on learning will promote student competency... Read More

5/6/2020

At its 16th annual Celebration of Grants held on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara awarded grants totaling $685,000 to nine local nonprofit agencies  The event marked the end of the 2019-2020 Women’s Fund grant cycle and honored its newest grantees, voted on by the membership of nearly 1,100 women. Since 2004, these generous women have been combining their charitable dollars into significant grants.  To date, nearly $7.9 million has been distributed to 111 local area nonprofit... Read More

3/15/2020

These are difficult times. The coronavirus has impacted us all in so many different ways. Our hearts break for those who are enduring the virus, those exposed, and those living in areas where the numbers keep rising exponentially.

For 15 years we have been committed to helping the most vulnerable in our community—women, children and families struggling to get by. Today that work is more important than ever. So, what do we do in a crisis when critical needs change on a daily basis?

At this point, stay the course. We are known—and counted on—as a funder to local nonprofits on... Read More

A lively discussion at the ACEs Forum
11/18/2019

It’s been proven: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can lead to serious health problems and shortened lives.
On October 29, Women’s Fund members and guests gathered at the New Vic Theater to hear a riveting forum about a ground-breaking ACE study. We also heard how a collaboration between Women’s Fund grantees CALM, SB Neighborhood Clinics (SBNC) and Isla Vista Youth Projects (IVYP) is creating a childhood safety net for ACEs victims and their families. 

An ACE score measures ten types of childhood trauma: physical, emotional and sexual abuse; physical and... Read More

Women's Fund Leadership
11/5/2019

At their eighth annual Table of Life Gala In September, 2019, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara honored the Women’s Fund “which typifies the powerful impact of women taking collective action for the common good.”  In 2018, the Women’s Fund awarded the Foodbank a grant of $95,000 for a new refrigerated truck. In honoring the Women’s Fund, the Foodbank said, "With more than 1,000 members, the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara has been one of the most potent forces in local philanthropy for 15 years. The Women’s Fund conducts a rigorous application, research and review process and makes sizable... Read More

Homelessness Forum
10/21/2019

Out of California’s 58 counties, Santa Barbara ties with Orange for the second highest child poverty rate. Grim statistics show that homeless children are three to four times more likely to become homeless adults. These are among the startling facts shared by local experts on September 26 when the Women’s Fund hosted an information-packed evening entitled Homelessness and the Working Poor: Creating a Bridge to Hope.

This forum was the first of an expanded series of Grants in Action programs featuring our 2018-19 Women’s Fund grantees and... Read More

10/20/2019

Generosity characterizes many of the families that live in Hope Ranch. "We know we're fortunate to live here," says Denise Lilly who has lived on Camino Medio for ten years. "And it feels natural to give back." Like many other women in the Ranch, Lilly supports a variety of local nonprofit organizations but she is especially drawn to the Women's Fund, an organization she joined three years ago. "There's a sense of sisterhood because women are coming together to fund important projects in our community. I take pride in being part of that."

The idea for the Women's Fund germinated in... Read More

9/5/2019

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will host its 8th Annual Table of Life Gala, 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Montecito estate of Betsey and John Moller.

The 2019 event will benefit local college and university students facing hunger and homelessness, and will honor the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara, which (worth noting on the eve of the 2020 centennial of the 19th Amendment guarantee of women’s right to vote) typifies and advances the powerful impact of women taking collective action for the common good.

“The Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara identifies food and... Read More

Community Defenders, Photo: Paul Wellman
7/31/2019

Public Defenders and Family Service Agency Give Clients a Voice Through Holistic Defense
At 40 years old, Jessica is learning to live a new kind of life. She grew up in Santa Barbara helping her mom steal things from stores and being verbally and physically abused by her family. “I grew up so sad,” she told the Independent. Jessica (not her real name) was still a bright kid who got good grades, but nevertheless had to juggle holding down a job, watching her younger siblings, and tending to the house. “By 17, I wanted to retire,” she said.

She moved in with an... Read More

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