5 Ways Students Can Give Back this Summer

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5 Ways Students Can Give Back this Summer
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2018's Coastal Cleanup Day (Photo: Explore Ecology)

By Christina Muoio

If you’re a student staying in Isla Vista for summer school, or if you live in Santa Barbara and want to spend your summer doing something other than going to the beach, these ideas are for you, especially if you like giving back to your community. Plus, you can do these things all year long!

1. Participate in a beach cleanup

Whether organized or not, a beach cleanup is a fun, effective way of giving back to your community while soaking up the summer sun at the same time. Not only does it keep our ocean clean, but you can work on your tan at the same time. You can organize a cleanup on your own or join one of the many cleanups organized by local non-profits. You can register for your own through Santa Barbara County or join Explore Ecology's Coastal Cleanup Day.

2. Go to the farmers market

Buying fresh fruits, handmade jewelry, and other goods are a great way to support small local businesses and the Farmer's Market provides just that. Visit the Santa Barbara Farmers Market to see their schedule of markets from Solvang to Carpinteria six days a week.

3. Volunteer or donate to the Santa Barbara food bank

Food insecurity is perhaps one of the greatest issues this community faces. By volunteering your time or donating nonperishable food items to the food bank, you are ensuring that members of your community get to enjoy nutritious, healthy foods to keep themselves healthy this summer. Learn more on the Foodbank's website.

Photo: Foodbank Santa Barbara

4. Support No Kid Hungry Program

For a lot of children, summer is a difficult time. They rely on school meals to get them through the day, and without school, many kids miss out on healthy, nourishing food. Donate or volunteer with No Kid Hungry, an organization that provides free meals to children under 18, and feeds adults as well. Bringing awareness to families who need this service is important as well; texting ‘FOOD’ to 877-877 will give you locations where you can get some meals for free, along with the times and days of the week that the location is open.

5. Organize a yard sale and donate proceeds to a local charity of your choice

Everyone has things that are lying around but don’t want to get rid of or will probably never use. Getting rid of clutter not only organizes your mind and your space, but you’ll be helping your items find new homes among your community members. 

I hope these ideas inspire you to make Santa Barbara a better place for everyone! 


Christina is a UCSB student who wants you to give back to your community this summer.

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