Community Resilience in a Changed Climate

By Giving List Staff   |   October 28, 2021
Volunteer briefing at Ennisbrook open space cleanup

The Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade is a homegrown community response to climate change. Created in the wake of the Thomas Fire and debris flow in 2018, the Bucket Brigade leverages community solidarity and human empathy into a powerful organizing force for resilience and regeneration. In the face of unprecedented natural disasters and global crises, the Bucket Brigade stands ready to lead an organized, local volunteer response. The challenges communities are facing are greater than ever before. The Bucket Brigade helps communities rise up to meet those challenges.

Everyone is welcome to join the Bucket Brigade

True resilience is inclusive and is measured by how well an entire community bounces back from a disaster. The Bucket Brigade is designed to address unmet needs by harnessing local wisdom and untapped resilience potential. The result: a faster, more equitable, and longer-lasting recovery. When communities have the ability to mount an effective response to a crisis, they build self-reliance and solidarity, emerging stronger and more connected than before the disaster.

In between disasters and crises, the Bucket Brigade trains new volunteers and volunteer leaders with ground-breaking, year-round Community Uplift Projects (CUPs) like Walk Montecito and the Growing Community Project. This approach transitions seamlessly from response and relief work to long-term community resilience-building. The CUPs program teaches community members disaster response skills through projects that make their neighborhoods safer and more connected. The Bucket Brigade’s constantly growing cadre of experienced volunteers and volunteer leaders helps to form a grassroots community safety net that stands ready to respond to whatever challenge Santa Barbara County faces next.

The Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade received 13 major nonprofit awards in its first two years, including California Nonprofit of the Year, Local Heroes, Environmental Hero, Community Heroes Award, and Citizen of the Year for its response to the Thomas Fire and debris flow in 2018. In 2020, it received a second Local Heroes award for its innovative Make Masks – Save Lives pandemic response program. In 2021, Bucket Brigade volunteers constructed two miles of safe-route-to-school trails in Montecito, delivered pandemic home victory garden kits throughout Santa Barbara County, and launched a major climate-adaptive habitat restoration in Elings Park.

Santa Barbara, California; Bucket Brigade cleaning homes hit by debris flow during Montecito flood

Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade

Donate now!
(805) 568-9700
Co-founder and CEO: Abe Powell


The Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade was created to prepare for and respond to natural disasters and community crises through volunteer training, coordination, and deployment.

Begin to Build a Relationship

We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s director of development and/or Executive Director.

During a crisis, the Bucket Brigade turns helplessness into helping by enabling the community to lead its own recovery effort. The inclusive, welcoming approach gives ordinary people a chance to become neighborhood heroes in a time of need. This is something every community needs right now.
Greg Tebbe
Bucket Brigade President and Volunteer

You Can Help Build Resilience in Santa Barbara County

The Bucket Brigade resilience model focuses on people and community. 

“The feel-good factor of volunteering is overwhelmingly powerful, especially since we are so privileged in our own lives,” says Hy Rosario, a Bucket Brigade volunteer.

“The opportunity to give is returned ten-fold and cannot be overstated.”

You can become a Bucket Brigade Member or Sponsor today by visiting and clicking the red donate button. Donations can also be made by mail to P.O. Box 50640 Santa Barbara, CA 93150. Your donations help the Bucket Brigade keep the doors open and provide the safety equipment, materials, and leadership needed for year-round community action and uplift.

“Now is the time to reconnect with the Bucket Brigade community,” says Co-founder Abe Powell. “Join us as we remember what it means to be good neighbors in a time of need – not just with words, but with deeds.”

Key Supporters

Zegar Family Foundation
The Muller Family
Ann Jackson Family Foundation
Christina Kirby and Josh Kulkin
Eric and Wendy Schmidt
Geoff Slaff and Dale Zurawski
The Brittingham Family Foundation
Audacious Foundation
Sharon Bradford/WWW
Tony and Kyra Rogers
Jackie & Jeff Schaffer
Nati & Michael Smith
and Anne Smith Towbes