Around Santa Barbara

still so much to be done…

February 22, 2018

I get asked on a daily basis, “how is Montecito doing?”  The short answer is, they are working hard and moving forward but there is still so much to do. The cost of digging out the mud for one home can be upwards of $200,000!  Unfortunately, insurance does not often cover it.  Then, there is the difficult job of finding contractors who will remove the mud.  Enter the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade.  It was conceived over the kitchen table by Abe Powell and Tom Cole which they started with their own personal funds.  Costs per week are $25,000 for equipment, storage, food, porta-potties, and more to keep the hundreds of volunteers going.  They have done so much already but there is so much more to do.

Some of the Bucket Brigade volunteers

My dear friend Connie Smith who has volunteered with the Bucket Brigade passed on this letter to me:

Friends, I had a great picture and because I am so not tech, I accidentally deleted it…but imagine homes covered in mud, whole neighborhoods.  Covering yards, oozing through rooms, gardens and precious belongings, tragic, completely overwhelming.  Unimaginable.  And who will help you “dig out”?  Can you afford the resources?

Then see a crew of volunteers, shovels, gloves and masks, wheel barrows and a spirit to act.  They are shoveling your yard, sorting your home, clearing your garage.  All on a volunteer basis.  Boots on the ground, organized, delegated, allowing privacy for homeowners but hard at work.  Cleared through legal channels to be there and do what needs to be done.

But there may be a halt to the hundreds of volunteers doing this essential work because of lack of funds for the minimal support needed.  Everything helps, 20, 25, 30, or add zeroes…

Please go to   Please do what you can.  It is tax deductible.  And share.  I am reaching far and wide because this is so essential and neighbor to neighbor.

Last Saturday of digging was a spirit experience…hard work, shovel in hands and duct tape for blisters, but when a child’s bike was cleared?  And his dad said, “he will be so happy to see that.” Tears in my eyes.  They are there still.

Love Healing Resilience


Connie may not have been able to share a picture, but this is what many neighborhoods look like.  It is a daunting task that the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade is tackling!



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  • Linda B. February 22, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    It’s great to get an update and a perspective from somebody that’s there. It’s wonderful that everyone is helping out their neighbors. Thanks Beth

    • edbdesignssb February 23, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      As a friend of mine said the first time she went back to what was left of her neighborhood “I was gob smacked” That pretty much sums it up.
      But wonderful to see the community rallying around those who have lost so much.