United Way of Santa Barbara County Inc.Donate
Since 1923, United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has provided area children, families, and seniors with community services and resources, building a reputation as the community’s fundraiser. In the past 21 years, however, UWSBC has transformed into a hybrid organization, building partnerships and delivering direct services to accomplish community driven goals. UWSBC is one of just a handful of United Ways to take on these roles. Our mission statement is “Right here, right now, through the Power of Partnership, we are improving lives for children, families, seniors, and you!” Our vision is to ensure that every community member has a hopeful future.
Social Change Project:
Fun in the Sun (FITS)
Fun in the Sun (FITS) is a collaborative summer program that, with the support of more than 70 partners, provides comprehensive academic and enrichment curriculum and family support services to help families from low-resource neighborhoods reach their full potential. FITS serves 300 children and 200 parents at five South Santa Barbara County sites. During its seven-hour daily, six-week session, FITS reduces summer learning loss and the achievement gap through educational, artistic, relational, and recreational activities. The program fosters a sense of community that gives children and families the sense of connectedness, skills, and resources they need to produce long-term behavioral and academic improvements.
My mother always worried about my younger brother, Emiliano. That all changed when she heard about Fun in the Sun.
He became a completely different person. He opened up and would always tell us everything he learned and all the new friends he made each day.
For his last year in FITS, he took his responsibility as an older student and role model very seriously. He taught the younger ones the ropes and made sure that they knew that they could go to him for questions.
He always had a hard time learning and never received the extra attention that was needed to help him improve. Through FITS, he learned to interact with other children and was able to catch up academically. FITS completely changed my brother’s life and my mom and I are forever grateful.
Now Emiliano has a plan for his life and actually wants to become an engineer. We know that FITS is what helped him get there.
— Jackey R., Age 17, Santa Ynez