Design Santa Barbara Interview
This week on Design Santa Barbara we are continuing our tradition of interviewing people who make a great different in our community shop.
We are excited to have executive director of Unity Shoppe, Tom Reed. Learn more about unity shoppe and how it helps others and our community.
What Originally brought you to Santa Barbara? Reed traveled as a musician and would go around talking to people about what they found meaningful and what life is all about. After loosing two houses to major disasters it got him out of the business world and he started re-valuating life.
In 2000, Reed came down to Santa Barbara and came across the unity Shoppe. Which he felt it was a perfect extension of what that purpose was because it is helping a lot of people the right way.
In the early thirties, all the committees were consolidated into a single unified organization called “The Council of Christmas Cheer.” They agreed to follow the “Rules and Principles of Giving” adopted from the Council of Social Agencies. This began a policy of giving parents the opportunity to shop for their needs so they could take care of their own families.
“Parents should have the natural function and option of selecting food and clothing for their own households. It’s important to help them remain the caregivers for their own families. It ties tighter family bonds and in- stills pride and dignity. Children need to respect and rely on their parents for their needs. Gifts given by strangers cause an uncomfortable situa- tion for the head of the household and much of this charity is not really wanted or needed. A time of crisis is no time to make temporary acquain- tances of the poor because it results in the breakdown of family morale.”
100 Year History
During the early 1900s, families purchased summer homes in Santa Barbara and needed part time workers. We are proud to celebrate Unity’s first 100 years of Community Service.
Dr. Pearl Chase noticed that many of these workers had problems with the expense of living in Santa Barbara. She started working with community volunteers to help them during the Christmas season. They organized three committees to assist low -income children, families, and the elderly. This remarkable project became known as the Council of Christmas Cheer in the 30s. Young and old, rich and poor and people from all races, creeds and color worked together for 100 years, so “Neighbors could help their low-income Neighbors.” For the first 69 years no one was paid and less than $10,000 annually was donated to help thousands of people. Kenny Loggins renamed the work (Unity Shoppe) in 1988 because it was now a year-round operation. Today, nearly 20,000 unduplicated people are referred by 300 non-profits, churches, schools and hospitals so more people can be helped with better and more consistent support services.
Unity Shoppe Bake Sale
DECEMBER 9, 2017