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The Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade was born in the wake of the catastrophic Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow in the winter of 2017-18. With disaster relief services stretched to the limit and the need for assistance at an all-time high, five community members stepped up to organize a neighborhood relief response, aligning with public agencies to dig out homes damaged by the debris flow. Right away, more friends and strangers showed up to help. Empathy and compassion surged in response to this opportunity for community members to directly engage to help their neighbors in a safe and organized way. The Bucket Brigade rapidly grew and evolved to safely deploy more than 3,000 volunteers in the largest local spontaneous volunteer deployment in generations. This work continues today as the Bucket Brigade helps neighborhoods prepare for and respond to natural disasters and community crises through volunteer training, coordination, and deployment.

Linda E. Cole

Linda Eckerbom Cole is the co-founder and executive director of African Women Rising, a non-profit organization working to empower women affected by war in Africa. Linda is committed to gender-based…

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Thomas Cole

For more than 25 years, Thomas has worked in sustainable agriculture, livelihoods, community development, and humanitarian response work in both the U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa. His focal areas are in…

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Josiah Hamilton

Josiah Hamilton's great great-grandfather, Hezekiah Chase, came to Santa Barbara in 1900 and was the first president of the Board of Realtors. Chase reportedly sold half of Santa Barbara. Another…

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Abe Powell

John Abraham Powell was born in Stanford and raised in Santa Barbara. As an infant, his parents called him Abie-Baby, and so did everyone else. Abe graduated from Santa Barbara…

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Jessica Powell

Jessica Powell received her B.A. in International Studies from Vassar College, her M.A. in Latin-American Studies from Stanford University, and completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, at…

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