Posted on June 01, 2020

Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation and Direct Relief Donate $200,000 to Community Health Centers of the Central Coast

The collaboration that began with the Santa Barbara Wine Auction comes full circle to support medically underserved families in Santa Barbara County.

June 1, 2020 (Santa Barbara, Calif.) – To bolster the local fight against the COVID-19 crisis and continue supporting Santa Barbara’s medically underserved farmworker community, the Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation and Direct Relief are pleased to announce it is gifting $200,000 to Community Health Partners of the Central Coast (CHC).

The Santa Barbara Wine Auction held on Feb. 15 brought together a unique partnership between the wine industry and the nonprofit sector. The Santa Barbara Vintners, Direct Relief and Community Health Centers each share the common mission to support humanitarian health assistance for people in need both locally and globally – especially during the fight against COVID-19. This gift to Community Health Centers is a result of this special collaboration.

CHC has stepped up to meet the challenges of the pandemic in the Central Coast, but its clinics have been stretched thin, suffering shortages of staff, medical supplies and protective equipment.

“This generous gift will literally save lives – it’s that simple,” said Ron Castle, CEO of CHC. “Our clinics are on the healthcare frontline. As a result, CHC has never had a greater need for support. We are extremely grateful to the Vintner’s Foundation and Direct Relief for their joint donation.”

This wider support for CHC during this pandemic reflects the Vintners Foundation’s success in forging a lasting partnership between the global Direct Relief and the local CHC beyond the February charity auction.

For 20 years, the Vintners Foundation has been active in sustaining and expanding Direct Relief’s health assistance for people in need, both locally and globally. This year, the Foundation additionally partnered with CHC, which is dedicated to providing healthcare in the Central Coast with special emphasis on agricultural workers.

“Our goal with the 2020 Wine Auction was to serve as a bridge and bring together and support the important works of Direct Relief and CHC,” said Jessica Gasca, President of the Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation. “And with the pandemic, the timing of this newly formed partnership is fortunate, to say the least.”

Thomas Tighe, CEO of Direct Relief, agreed.

“Because of the Vintners Foundation’s work to unite us with CHC, Direct Relief and our global partners and donors had a clear and path to support worthwhile COVID-19 efforts in our backyard,” Tighe said. “We are a united front with CHC, and it’s a partnership we look forward to growing for years to come.”

About Santa Barbara Wine Auction

The biennial Santa Barbara Wine Auction has evolved through the years with the partnership of the Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation, Direct Relief and Community Health Centers. The 2020 Wine Auction marked its 11th year of gathering together to support and strengthen our community.