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Another Great Deed Update: 20 Deeds Down

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January 17, 2019
CoastHills food bank donations

We had our birthday last August, and instead of asking for gifts, we pledged to give back all year long as a thank you to our members and community. We call it our “Another great deed” campaign — a pledge to do 60 great deeds in celebration of 60 years of CoastHills.

And we’ve been on a roll. We recently reported our first 10 deeds, and we’re excited to return with 10 more with a touch of holiday spice. Check out the details below, and stay tuned to follow our progress.

Toys For Tots Collection

Our Village, Orcutt, Santa Maria, and Paso Robles branches participated in Toys For Tots this year. Our employees and members were so generous that the collection bins overflowed with stuffed animals, basketballs, dolls, and other goodies before the holiday season even began. We are thrilled to be able to put a smile on so many faces.

Altrusa of Santa Maria Holiday Extravaganza

Every year Altrusa of Santa Maria puts on a Holiday Extravaganza and tree raffle to raise money for their programs that give back to community groups and nonprofits. Local businesses and individuals donate fully decorated trees for event goers to bid on and take home. This year, CoastHills celebrated a decade of participation, thanks to the passion and creativity of Lending Specialist Monique Ausan and Lending Experience Manager Elyssa Ibarra.

CAPSLO’s Veteran’s Holiday Party

The Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo’s (CAPSLO) Veteran’s Services division wanted to spread a little holiday cheer to the homeless and at risk vets they serve. But because their funding has specific guidelines, they needed a little help from the community in order to put on a holiday party for their clients. CAPSLO reached out to our Community Action Sponsorship program, and we came through with a $500 donation to help with the costs of a hot meal and stockings stuffed with essentials like toothpaste and shampoo.

13th Annual Christmas Bikes of VAFB Military Children

There’s a group of folks in Vandenberg Village that are really passionate about mountain biking. So passionate, they formally created a grassroots nonprofit called The Village DIrtbags. Every year, they work with local businesses and community leaders to raise money to donate bikes complete with helmets to the children of servicemembers stationed at VAFB — just in time for the holidays. CoastHills proudly sponsored two biked to help them meet their goal.

Echo Group’s Casa De Flores 

Marine vet Steve Baird started a softball team by and for Santa Maria area veterans who needed a little camaraderie and peer-to-peer counseling as they struggled to adjust to civilian life. That idea blossomed into a grassroots nonprofit called Echo Group Band of Brothers that now hosts 6 softball teams, a 140 person bowling league, and a billiards league. They work closely with local law enforcement and the justice system to assist vets struggling with addiction and mental illness, and are even on call for crisis intervention. Not only that, in July of 2017 they converted an old Victorian house into Camp Flores — a stability home offering food and sanctuary to homeless and at risk veterans. They just competed additional renovations, and can now house up to 12 vets. Even though it's been just over a year since they started, the team boasts 8 success stories where clients turned their lives around.

On Friday November 30th 2018, Echo invited community leaders and partners Casa Flores for an open house and celebration of the latest graduates of Veteran's Treatment Court. The guest list included CoastHills, to present a $1,000 donation to Camp Flores thanks to DMV Officer Jami Morearty's participation in the All In program. Jami comes from a family of veterans and service members, and her sister was inspired to start volunteering for Echo after visiting them for a class project. When Jami was selected as an All In winner, she knew immediately that she wanted to support this local effort. 

Feeling inspired to help? Echo is always in need of donations, and there's always room for more volunteers — even for something as simple as spending a little time in the cozy living room listening to the residents tell stories. Connect with them on Facebook or email to take the next step.  

Freedom Monument Veteran’s Memorial Ceremony

The Santa Maria Freedom Monument Veteran's Memorial was dedicated in 2001 to honor the (now) 113 Santa Maria Valley service members who were killed while serving in the military since WWI. Every year on December 7th — the anniversary of Pearl Harbor —  community members including the Mayor, Congressman, VAFB leadership, and other dignitaries gather for a ceremony honoring our local fallen veterans. CoastHills CEO Paul Cook, joined by CoastHills Board Member and Marine Veteran Hugh Rafferty, presented a Patriotic wreath when the community was invited to pay their respects. 

People’s Kitchen

Chris Soto, Santa Maria Branch Manager, is a long-time volunteer at the Five Cities People's Kitchen. Thanks to community support, the grassroots nonprofit has been able to serve lunch to the local homeless and at-risk population every day for 26 years and counting. On Saturday December 8th, Chris — joined by fellow CoastHills employees Lisa Ma'a, Angie Gonzalez, Claudia Noriega, and Heidi Castro — volunteered to prepare and serve lunch. Thanks to their efforts, over 40 people enjoyed pizza, tortellini pasta salad, green salad, lemon cake and a selection of beverages including milk, punch, eggnog, lemonade. They even sent over two pizzas to a local boy's group home, so the boys there could enjoy a special treat. 

Good Samaritan Shelter

Mark Cordes, a manager in our corporate headquarters, thought it would be fun to change up the usual team meeting and spread a little holiday cheer by giving back. On Tuesday December 18th, he did just that — rallying the whole department to head to the Santa Maria Good Samaritan Shelter after work to cook and serve a full spaghetti dinner to over 100 families residing at the homeless shelter. Now that’s team work!

Looking to get involved? The Good Samaritan Shelter has plenty of volunteering opportunities — from serving up dinner like Mark’s team, or even tutoring homeless youth. To find out more, check them out online.

CAT’s All Staff Foodbank Drive

When we donated 60 turkeys to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County in November we learned a troubling statistic — nearly a quarter of our community depends on food support. While annual turkey drives help the Foodbank combat hunger through the holidays, the organization struggles with post-holiday donation doldrums and needs a little extra help to restock the empty shelves.

The CoastHills Cultural Advisory Team has a long-time tradition of rallying our employees to spread holiday cheer through a charitable drive around the holidays. Inspired by the plight of the Foodbank, the team sent out a wish list of the seven most needed items to all 252 CoastHills employees asking them to consider bringing donations to December’s all staff meeting. And our employees certainly came through — donations of peanut butter, pasta, tomato sauce, canned tuna, canned chicken, and more filled out not one but 5 large donation bins.

As a special thank you, we did a shout out on our Facebook page recognizing the employees who went above and beyond by bringing all seven of the items on the wishlist: Rob Conant, Misty Coen, JD Scroggin, Teri Dampier, Cindy Naputi, Terris Sloan, John Ruckman, Landon Galvan, Andrea Hoffman, Dominic Magliari, Marivic Adolfo, Barbara and Bruce Altheide, Kendra Miranda, Baylee Masterson, Cathy Cachu, Suzanne Leedale, John Gonzalez, Susan Urbauer, Brian Jensen, Vaughan Hopkins, Chris Mori, Karen Nuno, Scott Olson, Barbara Rodriguez-Pena, Jennie Aragon, Daphne Mathias, Donato Ricci, Michael Johnson, Colleen Goebel, Maricela Cazares, Chico Lusby Sean and Christina Vasquez, Francisca Barron, Agnes Tabin, Daniel Vegas, Marigrace Ramones, Marc Sexton, Diane Guerrero, Renee Porraz, Juan Pliego, Nathalie Cohen, Mia Bacarella, Todd Buranen, Jeanette Daley, Dan Walls, Kristen Lopez, Michelle Ruiz, Maria Hall, Esme Olguin and Kristine McLaughlin.

The Foodbank is in need of donations year round to meet their goal of feeding our hungry neighbors.

Fighting Back Santa Maria

Earlier we mentioned the passion that Lending Specialist Monique Ausan and Lending Experience Manager Elyssa Ibarra have for making a difference.  Not only did the head up the Altrusa Tree, they organized a toy drive amongst their coworkers. First, they contacted Fighting Back Santa Maria, a local nonprofit that partners with Santa Maria Valley school districts and social services agencies to promote safe and healthy environments for our community youth by combating violence and substance abuse. The organization provided Elyssa & Monique a wish list for 46 kids — ranging from Kindergarten to High School age. The duo collected $435 from staff at the HQ and Crossroads, and made sure that each of the students would receive something on Christmas morning. 

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