The Santa Barbara City Fire Department is once again participating in the annual Season of Hope Toy and Food Drive, which will benefit the Unity Shoppe.
While in typical years all city fire stations would be open to receive donations, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in efforts to keep fire crews safe, items will only be collected at four city fire stations, said Yoli McGlinchey, emergency services manager for the city.
Residents are encouraged to donate toys and non-perishable food items through Dec. 18. Each station will have two collection boxes for new, unwrapped toys, as well as store bought, new, unopened non-perishable food, Ms. McGlinchey said.
“With the many challenges we have had this year, the collection of toys and non-perishable food is critical to assist those in our community that are struggling from loss of jobs and homes,” she said in a statement.
Toys can be dropped off between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week at the following fire stations: Station 1, at 121 W. Carrillo St.; Station 4, at 19 N. Ontare Road; Station 5, at 2505 Modoc Road; and Station 6, at 1802 Cliff Drive.
This year’s collection will benefit the Unity Shoppe, a local nonprofit which helps struggling families to put food on their table and clothes on their back.
Last week, Unity Shoppe Founder Barbara Tellefson died from a terminal illness. She also served as the president and director of operations for Unity Shoppe.
Unity Shoppe is currently in need of $5.5 million to complete the establishment of its physical imprint. Before her passing, Ms. Tellefson made a final pledge of the first $500,000 toward the goal.
Residents who would like to honor Ms. Tellefson’s pledge can make donations at www.unityshoppe.org or by calling Pat Hitchcock, director of donor relations at Unity Shoppe, at 805-979-9511.
For more information on the toy and food drive, please call 805-564-5711.