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April 2020


April 2020

Dear SB3 Members!

I hope this email finds you healthy and safe.

We are in an unprecedented time of human crisis. The need for compassion, cooperation and coordination has never been greater. I am calling out to all of you. There is something each of us can do to make this situation better. Now is the time to find that thing and do it.


Responding to crisis through volunteer training, coordination and deployment.


More Mask Making

Critical service workers don’t have enough masks! This is a huge problem. Nurses, food service workers, and emergency personnel need masks now. We are helping them right now by making more masks — please join in!

Do you have sewing skills and time on your hands? Would you like to help save lives and win cool prizes while helping keep the community safe? Seamstresses and quilters — this is your time to shine. We need drivers too!

Please join our Most Mask Maker Challenge!

  • We will bring you materials to make masks!
  • We will pick up masks and deliver them to those in need!
  • We will bring prizes donated by local businesses like Rusty’s Pizza, Powell Peralta and Jewels by the Sea.
  • You will help to save lives in the safety of your own home.

If you are bored and lonely — step up and connect with this important mission right now!

Over 160 people have signed up to help already and 3500 masks worth of material and elastic have been delivered to our sewing team so far. Our sewing team completed over 1500 face coverings this week alone! Masks were delivered to the Visiting Nurses Association, People Assisting the Homeless and The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department so far – more to come next week! Together we can do this!
Teamwork makes the dream work.

Who is the Rockstar of Sewing in Santa Barbara County?

We are going to find out.


Face Shield Makers Project

Emergency personnel and critical service workers need face shields more than ever!

We are recruiting local makers with 3D printers to help make face shields today. Local hero Marco Farrell has stepped up to create this program and we are rapidly ramping up production. We have over 2000 masks being assembled right now and more coming in each day. We have spent over $20,000 on materials and could really use your support to help us purchase more!


Volunteer Partnership Projects

We have been inspecting and evaluating critical service volunteer projects and then recruiting volunteers for projects that pass the safety review. Once they pass the safety evaluation, volunteer projects get posted on our volunteer page:

  • Volunteer Work: We also did a volunteer day last week in partnership with the Friendship Center, Foodbank, Easylift, and Bucket Brigade. We packed and delivered food to seniors in mobile home parks all over the place. The food deliveries were VERY well received.
  • Backyard Harvest: We’re about to launch our backyard harvest program to collect fruit from local private orchards for the Foodbank.

Community Partners

We have synced up with VOAD and the County EOC to coordinate volunteer activities to support critical service work during the pandemic.


Website Updates

We update each day as new information comes in. Here are some updates on our work and information on our website.



All of these resources are available in English and Spanish on our website, which requires translation services. We are also working on getting information translated into Mixteco (there are three Mixteco dialects).

  • We hired Eunice Valle, a rockstar bilingual “Community Outreach Coordinator,” to help us connect and collaborate with Latinx neighborhood and community groups as well as critical service providers.
  • Below is a photo of Eunice delivering N-95 masks and coveralls to Cottage Hospital.

Neighborhood Mutual Aid

We are conducting weekly webinars with neighborhood groups to talk about best practices and to share information.
Registration URL:



  • We conducted a “Neighborhood Cooperation During a Pandemic Webinar” – download the video and PP deck here:
  • We made a “shopping for your neighbors” video with my daughter on her spring break. (Thanks Olivia! Not the spring break you were hoping for, but way to step up to use your skills to help others!)

Pandemic Cooperation Partnerships

We are working with groups all around Santa Barbara County and Ventura to address community need during the pandemic:

  • Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management
  • Foodbank of Santa Barbara County
  • Community Action Commission, Senior Meals Program
  • United Boys and Girls Clubs (Westside and Goleta)
  • Friendship Center Adult Day Services (Goleta and Montecito)
  • Roots Organic Farm
  • VOAD
  • Santa Barbara Foundation
  • XponentialWorks

Community Uplift Projects

Olive Mill Walking Trail — On March 31, we completed the construction of the Olive Mill Walking Trail! Our partners, the Slaff-Zurowski Family, Steve Hanson Landscaping, Montecito Trails Foundation, Montecito Community Foundation, Casa Dorinda, Santa Barbara County Public Works all joined forces with the Bucket Brigade this spring to permit the darn thing and built it (even though the pandemic really spoiled our planned awesome 150 person volunteer workday with Deckers).

Memorial Benches —Two beautiful benches made from rescued lumber from local fallen trees were installed in March by master carpenter and lifelong helper of others David Moseley.


Financial Issues

Lastly, we are facing the same financial challenges that other groups are dealing with. We are applying for grants like crazy and we had to cancel our spring fundraiser due to the pandemic. Any assistance you can provide to help us maintain continuity of service would be greatly appreciated. If you know anyone who could support our work, please let us know.


On Message — On Mission

NOTE: This photo was taken before social distancing measures, in the pre-pandemic good ol’ days . . .

We believe in our mission and our work more than ever and we are not about to back down or give up no matter what happens. The soul of the Bucket Brigade rises up directly from the foundation of human cooperation in times of crisis — neighbors joining forces to face a crisis together, rather than apart.
We choose to pull together.
We choose to help our neighbors.
We choose community over isolation and we choose to get out there and do the work to help make things better for everyone, no matter what comes next.
Join us.


Abe Powell
Co-Founder – Executive Director
Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade

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