A Community of Churches

Montecito Covenant, El Montecito Presbyterian, All Saints by-the-Sea Episcopal, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel – a “Community of Montecito Churches” – joined with Peoples’ Self Help Housing in Santa Barbara to collect, purchase, and donate school supplies for some 800 students from Carpinteria to Guadalupe.

The project was spearheaded by Montecito Covenant Senior Pastor Don Johnson, El Montecito Presbyterian Senior Pastor Dr. Harold Bussell , The Reverend Dr. Jeffrey Bullock of All Saints by-the-Sea, and Reverend Maurice O’Mahony of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, along with Carol Brown, Senior Director of Programs at Peoples’ Self-Help Housing.

Together they organized a fundraising campaign at all four churches. They sold eco-friendly canvas shopping bags that had the four churches’ logos on it. Profits from those sales went towards purchasing backpacks, and basic school supplies, such as pens, pencils, and notepads for selected Santa Barbara County schoolchildren. Additionally, an anonymous community member donated 800 gift cards, good for a free pair of “school shoes” at Payless ShoeSource.

On Saturday, July 28th, about 50 volunteers met at Montecito Covenant Church to assemble the backpacks with the supplies for three different groups of school children: K through 2nd grade, 3rd through 5th grade and 6th through 12th grade. Each volunteer wrote a personal note to the student, wishing the recipient a productive school year. The packs were loaded onto trucks and vans and transported to the various school locations from Carpinteria to Guadalupe.

This makes the second time the “Community of Montecito Churches” worked together. Their first project was assembling AIDS Caregiver Kits for Rwanda last year, in partnership with World Vision.