Volunteers Organize Care Packs for Neighbors in Need

Nearly 11,000 people in need in Santa Barbara County will soon receive help meeting their basic needs thanks to the hard work of more than 50 volunteers who assembled 3,000 Personal Care Packs at Direct Relief’s warehouse last week.

The Personal Care Packs contain hygiene items like lotion, soap, facial cleanser, hairbrushes, combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other assorted toiletries to help vulnerable people – including homebound seniors, homeless families, and migrant farm workers – access basic items they may otherwise go without.

Jackson and Maureen Wooten are happy to help others as they were helped after Katrina.Twice a year volunteers assemble the packs,  which are distributed to 30 social service agencies throughout the county who assist local individuals and low-income families.

Some very special volunteers came out to pack on Friday.

For 11-year-old Jackson Wooten and his mom, Maureen Wooten, packing the kits was a way for them to give back after they found themselves in need eight years ago while living in Biloxi, Miss. when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, damaging many of their family and friends’ homes.

“These are the same products we got [after Katrina],” said Jackson. “I wanted to help others like we were helped.”

A dedicated crew from Sappo Hill Soapworks drove 10 hours to be a part of the packing event.Also among the volunteer packers was a crew of five employees from Sappo Hill Soapworks, who have donated all-natural soaps for the Care Packs for the last nine years. The drove more than 10 hours from Ashland, Ore. just to be a part of the event and see first-hand how their donations are making a difference.

“When I found out about Direct Relief, I knew it was an organization we wanted to support,” said Sappo Hill’s Stacey Miller.

She said their team was thrilled to come to Direct Relief’s headquarters and that they’re excited to continue supporting the work in whatever way they can.

In addition to Sappo Hill’s soaps, this season’s packs were made possible with products donated from Chattem Inc., Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Prestige Brands as well as generous support from the Wells Fargo Foundation and Wood-Claeyssens Foundation.

Direct Relief has worked to improve the health and lives of people locally in Santa Barbara for 50 years. Find out more about other local programs at this link: http://j.mp/RJiXF0

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