SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Ace Rivington store in Santa Barbara has an ongoing donation effort underway to help with those impacted by the war in Ukraine.
Owner Beau Lawrence says he is giving half of the proceeds of his blue bell and yellow butter colored t-shirts, sweatshirts and knit caps to Santa Barbara based Direct Relief. The non-profit provides urgent medical supplies worldwide, and has an urgent focus in both Ukraine and Poland for those fleeing war ravaged areas.
Lawrence has a special display in the store with a medical bag from Direct Relief bag as the centerpiece. The retail site is at 1106 A State Street in downtown.
The first check for $1500.00 was presented inside the Direct Relief headquarters on the Santa Barbara Airport district property not far from the Ace Rivington warehouse.
Lawrence said, "to be able to help them and support medical supplies and equipment directly for Ukraine has been an incredible initiative. As an organization our mission has been to consider people on the local level and global level when it comes to different challenges that are happening in the world."
Lawrence was standing with Direct Relief's Greg Mora and Tony Morain who showed him the supplies being sorted and packaged for a flight to specific zones where refugees have many needs after leaving their homes with little or no notice.
Mora said they have a secure connection all the way through to safe distribution sites, but, "we honestly do not know when the supply channels will still stay open, so for right now we are working with the Ministry of Health in Ukraine to distribute the supplies and get the supplies there now."
The level of donations coming in worldwide has ranged significantly. They are smaller contributions from either a personal check or community fundraising drive, to larger businesses and corporate gifts. There have also been funds for Direct Relief from both Russia and Ukraine as part of the worldwide outpouring to help those in need.
Mora said, "it's been from a nine-year-old in Boulder, Colorado playing her violin to the local community retirement groups like Casa Dorinda and Samarkand. "
Lawrence has helped with other relief organizations and efforts in the past during troubled times and says, "I'm so grateful to support community and (also) the global community"