93013 Fund responds to pandemic needs in Carpinteria
“This is going to be bad, really bad,” Hans Brand remembers thinking when everything closed down last March because of the pandemic.
His next thought was, “We need to do something to help people in town.”
And so Mr. Brand founded the 93013 Fund, which has collected and distributed more than $200,000 to help those in need in Carpinteria.
To date, the fund, named for the city’s zip code, has distributed more than 40,000 meals, $20,000 in school supplies, hundreds of child care scholarships, nonprofit grants and 20 small business grants.
Mr. Brand is president of the Rotary Club of Carpinteria Sunset Charitable Foundation, which operates the fund. Members of the 93013 Fund Advisory Committee are Leigh-Anne Anderson, Joyce Donaldson, Lorraine McIntire, Beth Cox, Don Hall, Marybeth Carty, Peter Dugre, Jamie Collins, Diana Rigby, Barry Kaufman and Jaime Diamond.
“We’ve always said since we started almost a year ago that anything we can do to make a difference here in Carpinteria is worth it,” said Mr. Brand. “We want to return to normal when it’s safe and still have our community intact. It has been longer than we thought we’d need to operate the 93013 Fund, and that means the impacts in the small business community have deepened.”
While on a ski trip at Mammoth Mountain with his wife Esther, Mr. Brand, a cannabis grower, told the News-Press the fund was started with a total of $60,000, which included donations from the Carpinteria Growers, $20,000; Tristan Straus, $10,000; Headwaters in Summerland, $10,00; and the Brands, $20,000.
“Our first priority was food boxes for needy people. Then we added meals for seniors and school supplies for children learning at home,” he said. “As more people heard about the fund and more donations came in, we provided money for child care scholarships at the Boys and Girls Club of Carpinteria, Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, Carpinteria Children’s Project and Kinderkirk.”
When major donors Barry Kaufman and Margo Hendelman offered matching donations up to $40,000, the fund provided 20 small business grants.
“The first three went to the Rincon Beach Bar, The Garden Market and Thario’s Kitchen. They are all on Santa Claus Lane, and we knew they wouldn’t qualify for grants from Santa Barbara,” said Mr. Brand.
Additional grant recipients in Carpinteria are Elite Nails, Rincon Fitness USA, SPARK45 Fitness, Traveling Pants, Chocolats Du CaliBressan, Tidepools, The Gym Next Door, Sante Pilates Studio, Curtis Studio of Dance, The Worker Bee Cafe, Seastrand, PacWest Blooms, Sade Turkish Coffee and Delights, Island Brewing Co., California Gold Ballroom Dance Studios, El Payasito Party Supply and Folly Home.
“We had not heard of the 93013 Fund until one of our very loyal patrons came in to tell us about it,” said Rick Mancilla, owner of The Worker Bee Cafe. “He had been working with the group, and you could tell by his enthusiasm that this group actually cares about our local businesses. He told me exactly where to go to fill out the application and even hand delivered our check to us.
“I also received a phone call to let me know that we had been approved and what the time frame was on payment. During this time, where small businesses have been dealt pretty bad hands, it feels amazing to know that someone has our back and for the right reasons.”
Taylor Bush, owner of Seastrand boutique, added, “I very much appreciate the help from the 93013 Fund. The way they have taken action to support small businesses is admirable. It is this kind of community support that makes me love Carpinteria so much!”
Marc and Carol Borowitz, owners of Rincon Beach Bar, said, “The financial assistance provided by the Barry Kaufman and Margo Handelsman Small Business Grant provided vital resources to maintain our employees health insurance through the most recent stay-at-home order.”
“We love and appreciate how the community comes together to support small businesses. We are honored to be one of the happy recipients,” said Jill and Jean Michel Carré, owners of Chocolats du CaliBressan.
Once things return to normal, the group plans to keep the fund active.
“We’re not sure what it will be used for at this time. As needs change, the committee will meet regularly to identify and respond to them in real time,” said Mr. Brand.
“We’ll take the money and use it to benefit the community. For example, we bought food for the needy from local farmers and groceries and purchased takeout meals from local restaurants.
“It was a win-win situation.”