Santa Visits Boys and Girls Clubs

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Santa Visits Boys and Girls Clubs
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Source: United Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County

Santa visits all Five Clubs!  The United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County (UBGC) usual December looked a lot different this year with no holiday parades, buffet-style dinners for the community, and their large annual Breakfast with Santa with gifts.

"This year was going to be challenging to find ways to celebrate the holidays, but thanks to donors such as The Paskin Group and the Bohnett Family, we were able to find a way to bring joy to our members this year and keep a little tradition alive," shared UBGC CEO Michael Baker.

UBGC was able to host Brunch with Santa for what they call a 'cohort' (a group of 14) members at each of their 5 locations. "It was not an easy day to pull-off, but Santa managed to visit all five sites!" added Executive Vice President of Advancement for UBGC, Laurie Leis.

UBGC originally planned to have a large Brunch with Santa event at Camp Whittier, but with COVID restrictions only tightening up, they had to improvise.  Each club location was able to serve breakfast and each kid was given a toy along with a $25 gift card from Target. In addition, each member received a special toy to take home donated by Travis and Amanda Twining, owners of Giffin Rental Company.

 "Growing up poor, I know first-hand what it is like to go without a gift during the holiday season.  When community members come together to help make the holiday season happen for our club members most in need, it gets me every time.  The Bohnett Family has been helping make this happen at our Westside club for a very long time, and this year it was expanded to all our Clubs in the County.  When you see the head of a company like the Paskin Group bring his entire leadership team and family down to create a breakfast with Santa event at all our clubs, how can you not be touched by that.  The fact that Michael Paskin is an alum of Boys & Girls Clubs tells you all you need to know about how impactful our programs are," shared Baker.

"For the team and I at The Paskin Group, this holiday season has really ignited the spirit of showing appreciation and giving in all of us. We are so thankful for our health, our ability to provide homes to thousands of people in such a challenging time, and to be in a position to make a meaningful, positive impact in people's lives that are in need through donations and volunteerism." Shared Michael Paskin, CEO of The Paskin Group.

The Paskin Group and Paskin Family volunteered to help serve at the Lompoc Club, where they assisted with the meal, hot chocolate bar, and make your own ornament. "By far, my favorite moment of the event was seeing the pure joy in the kids' faces as they opened their presents from Santa. For some of them, those will be the only gifts they receive this year, and knowing that my company and I had a small part in making that happen filled everyone in the gym with the holiday spirit", added Paskin.

UBGC feels incredibly grateful for all their donors this season. "We've been able to serve so many families throughout the year from food distribution to opening full-day learning and enrichment centers.  This all happened because of the generous support from our community," commented Leis.

If you are interested in learning more about what United Boys & Girls Clubs is doing or how you can help, please visit unitedbg.org or call 805-681-1315.

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