There may not be a lot of dancing at EOS Lounge in the days of COVID-19, but the club is about to be put to good use as the headquarters of Adam’s Angels, an effort from Santa Barbara resident and realtor Adam McKaig to deliver groceries and supplies to housebound individuals and clothing to homeless people amid the current health crisis.
Planning to use the now inactive nightclub’s refrigerator for food storage and its spacious setting for volunteers to assemble packets of hygiene products for homeless people, Mr. McKaig called club owner Bix Kaufman’s donation of the space “a godsend.”
The realtor added that the space will be especially useful for his endeavor because it is large enough to accommodate his volunteers while leaving enough room for social distancing.
“The space is so large that we can safely work amongst each other and be at least six feet apart,” he said.
Because his establishment is currently at a standstill, Mr. Kaufman told the News-Press that allowing Mr. McKaig and his volunteers to use EOS Lounge was a “no-brainer.” After getting introduced to Mr. McKaig through EOS’ previous owner Jeff Clark and hearing about Adam’s Angels, the club owner showed Mr. McKaig the location and the two quickly agreed that its spaciousness would be perfect for the relief effort.
“I showed him our patio and because it’s outside and there are tables that are spaced out, we thought, ‘This is a really great place,’” he said.
For the past several weeks, Mr. McKaig has been shopping for groceries and medication for about 40 elderly and at-risk individuals cooped up in their houses. Right now, Adam’s Angels consists of about 50 volunteers, each with their own list of individuals to deliver to. As Mr. McKaig remembered, this effort was spurred on “organically” after making a Facebook post inquiring if there were any older or at-risk people who needed food or medicine delivered to their houses. That one post triggered many responses from Facebook friends who were not just individuals who would have appreciated the favor, but friends interested in volunteering their time to make deliveries.
“The response from those in need and those who wanted to volunteer was tremendous. It was amazing,” Mr. McKaig recalled.
The volunteer effort that came out of this was named Adam’s Angels, and much of the material the endeavor donates is paid for straight out of Mr. McKaig’s pocket. However, some local residents like seamstress Priscilla Larson have put their trade to use by creating masks that have been donated to Adam’s Angels. Though she sells masks for $10 each in order to cover the cost of fabrics, Ms. Larson expressed readiness to donate for those most in need.
“If someone really needs them, I’m happy to donate them,” she said.
Adam’s Angels maintained a singular focus on home deliveries until Mr. McKaig was asked by his friend Amy Katz, volunteer coordinator at Congregation B’nai B’rith, if he could do her a favor by delivering some clothing to a homeless woman. Because it was the Sabbath that night, the congregation’s volunteers couldn’t do it. After fulfilling that favor, Mr. McKaig then decided to make delivering clothes to homeless people a part of Adam’s Angels.
Ms. Katz recalled, “Adam just kind of ran with what we were doing as well, and I thought, ‘The more the merrier.’”
When it starts up in EOS this week, much of Adam’s Angels’ work will be the homeless. This will include organizing clothes to be handed out as well as putting together packets of toiletries, soap, gloves, masks, and instructions on how to stay safe through social distancing. The realtor remarked that homeless individuals, while aware of the current situation to an extent, need to be informed about how to keep themselves safe during the pandemic because they lack the access to information that most people have.
“They’re frightened and they don’t know what to do,” he said. “Some of them are getting aggressive amongst each other and it’s a very trying time for them. They don’t really know the extent of what is going on given that many of them don’t have the news.”
From a new base of operations courtesy of Mr. Kaufman to just how many people are volunteering their time to his endeavor, Mr. McKaig called the community’s generosity in the face of the coronavirus “overwhelming.” That Adam’s Angels grew the way it did was truly a surprise to Mr. McKaig.
“I really was. It’s just so heartwarming that we have so many volunteers that are hoping to help one another,” he said.