This article was contributed by Chamberlain’s Youth Services.
2020 became the Year of Surprises for Chamberlain’s Youth Services (CYS). Even though 2020 became quickly filled with so much concern due to the worldwide pandemic, cancelling of our fundraisers and more, Chamberlain’s heroes came to the rescue!
One of our 2020 goals was to start replacing the aging transportation vans used by the cottages with newer, more reliable vans. Originally, we planned to raise funds for at least one van at the third annual Stand Up for Kids Comedy Dinner Show, which was cancelled in March due to the COVID-19 lockdown. By being awarded two grants later in the year, funds raised during an auction and a savvy opportunity presented by Board President Alana Miller, CYS was able to purchase three newer vans for the price of one, thereby surpassing some of our goals!
These vans are a critical element of Chamberlain’s, being used to take kids to potentially permanent family visits, school, fun outings, court appointments and much more. Funds came from a COVID-19 Relief Recovery grant from the Community Foundation for San Benito County and the United Way of San Benito County, a grant from San Benito County, and funds raised by 10 auction items and other donations during the Community Foundation’s San Benito Gives Community Auction last November. Also, the purchases were made more affordable by the large discount provided by Lux Bus America as they were downsizing their fleet in response to reduced demand.
One of the other goals at Chamberlain’s has been to replace the very old maintenance truck used by Maintenance Supervisor Albert Ramirez. CYS was able to purchase a newer reliable and efficient maintenance truck which is very essential to the day to day operations at Chamberlain’s, used to assist in the maintenance of the facilities as well as picking up larger donations or purchases such as a refrigerator or washer.
Funding for this vehicle came from a generous grant offered early last year by Stephen and Donna Haynes, owners of Emergency Vehicle Specialists, Inc. Again, being a bit savvy helped CYS find this truck via the city of Santa Barbara who had posted it for sale on social media.
“In a year when the possibility of purchasing one vehicle looked grim, let alone four vehicles, CYS heroes helped us meet some important goals to continue our mission. We are incredibly grateful for the support we are shown by our caring community!” said CEO Patrick Ellis.