Unity Shoppe: Neighbors Helping Neighbors

For almost a century, people in need in Santa Barbara have counted on the Unity Shoppe for support with life’s necessities and encouragement in becoming self-sufficient. Founded in 1917 by Pearl Chase and Hazel Severy as the Council of Christmas Cheer, the Unity Shoppe recently established an endowment fund to help ensure the Santa Barbara community will benefit from the nonprofit’s important work now and into the future.

The Unity Shoppe provides a central distribution facility, organized as a retail and grocery shopping experience, where 300 local service groups can refer their clients during times of severe need. By providing a space where people can select the food, clothing, household goods, and other items that they need, before their situation becomes untenable, thousands have been able to keep jobs, homes, and achieve personal stability. The Unity Shoppe, its generous supporters, and its 6,000 community volunteers provide support at just the right time in order for people to get back on their feet.

“It’s a challenge for every city in America to provide for the less fortunate who find themselves in temporary crisis,” said Tom Reed, Unity Shoppe’s Executive Director. “Most cities have a food pantry of some sort, and possibly various locations where a family might find school supplies or clothing. A struggling family, often a single mother, will not have the time or energy to go to multiple places trying to get help. The Unity Shoppe concept is to provide everything the family needs at one location, preserving their dignity and the respect of their children.”

To help continue this vital work, the organization established an endowment fund at the Santa Barbara Foundation.

“Our newly initiated endowment fund will greatly assist Unity in establishing a broader base of support and a stable funding stream for the future,” explained Reed. “Unity is turning 100 years old, and our goal is to ensure these vital services for the next 100 years! It’s a worthy cause, one that all of Santa Barbara can be proud of, and we welcome their support through our endowment fund.”

For information on the Unity Shoppe and how to get involved, visit UnityShoppe.org.

To learn more about the Santa Barbara Foundation’s nonprofit agency endowment and planned giving programs, please contact Lynette Muscio at (805) 963-1873 or lmuscio@sbfoundation.org.

North County Headquarters:  (805) 346-6123  |   2625 S. Miller Street, Suite 101, Santa Maria, CA 93455
South County Headquarters:  (805) 963-1873  |  1111 Chapala Street, Suite 200, Santa Barbara, CA 93101