Server William Losse at Chefs Table
By Bonnie Carroll
The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission held its annual restaurant-style Christmas Feast in their newly remodeled chapel located at 535 East Yanonali Street on Thursday, December 20 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. The Rescue Mission is in the midst of a 40,000 square foot remodel, including their dining hall which is currently under construction. A team of volunteers from Samarkand Retirement Community, the Santa Barbara Foundation, and Schipper Construction were serving meals to hundreds of men, women and children in need.
The young volunteers who helped with the feast were busy helping with desserts, setting tables and serving. I find it inspiring to see youngsters experiencing the joy of community service, and am always happy to see their happy faces at the SBRM event. William Losse, a volunteer from Samarkand Retirement Community, said he and his wife enjoyed the opportunity to be of service helping those in need in Santa Barbara.
The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission Women’s Auxiliary organized a Christmas gift distribution for guests who attended the feast and provided gift bags to those who attended, people who without this event, would not have any Christmas presents this year. “Rarely do our homeless neighbors get a brand-new item, so we collect new items and allow them to pick out something that they would like as a present for Christmas,” Sharon Wilson, an Auxiliary member, says.
“There are hundreds of hungry, hurting souls in Santa Barbara who have lost everything, can’t find a job, are enslaved by drugs or alcohol, or even find themselves homeless,” said Rolf Geyling, president of the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. “Allowing someone to feel special is one of the greatest gifts you can give, and that’s what our Christmas Feast and Giveaway are all about.”
To make a donation or for information visit www.sbrm.org
About Santa Barbara Rescue Mission
This 501(c)(3) organization has served the county and city of Santa Barbara for 53 years, providing emergency services and long-term recovery for the homeless and addicted. It is the only emergency shelter that is open 365 nights of the year from Santa Maria to Ventura. In 2017, the Mission provided 129,805 meals and 48,897 safe nights of shelter for individuals with no place else to turn. The Mission’s 12-month residential recovery program aims to bring individuals from decades of addiction, institutionalization, and homelessness back to sobriety, health and wholeness. Certification through the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs ensures that participants receive the highest standard of treatment in a non-medical facility. The Mission receives no government funding.