Bacara Resort & Spa Finds Unique Way to Help People in Need


Hundreds of people affected by Superstorm Sandy will receive basic care items this holiday season thanks to the generosity of guests staying at the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara.

While the luxury hotel has an established history of advancing Direct Relief’s mission, General Manager, Kathleen Cochran wanted to do more after seeing the needs of those left without basic necessities following Superstorm Sandy, which slammed the East Coast on Oct. 29.

Knowing that not every guest uses the complimentary in-room products such as shampoo, soap, and lotion, she came up with a unique way to get the staff and guests actively involved in making a difference. The resort began a program that allows guests to choose to donate their unopened items to Direct Relief to then be delivered to those impacted by Sandy.

“We’re humbled to see so many of our guests choose to donate their amenities. We’ve received wonderful feedback, too, not just from our guests but our team members,” Cochran said.

The resort put a card in each guestroom to publicize the donation opportunity.  Guests could elect to make the donation by putting unopened items on the card.  In the first two weeks of the promotion 300 guests donated more than 1,300 bottles of shampoo, lotion, and body wash.

The items will be used in Direct Relief’s Personal Care Pack Program, an initiative started more than 20 years ago, which provides personal care supplies to vulnerable people in the United States to improve their health and quality of life. The packs contain basic hygiene items like lotion, soap, shampoo, facial cleanser, hairbrushes, combs, tooth brushes, tooth paste, dental hygiene items, basic first aid supplies and other assorted toiletries.

In response to Hurricane Sandy, Direct Relief has sent 27 emergency relief shipments of medicines, nutritionals, food supplies, and personal care items, valued at more than $700,000, to 19 safety-net health centers and clinics in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Giving is Good Medicine

You don't have to donate. That's why it's so extraordinary if you do.