United Way partners with City National Bank During Annual Back-to-School Drive

By Giving List Staff   |   August 31, 2023

Distribution of donated school supplies and new backpacks continues at United Way’s summer learning program

To ensure that local students are prepared for the 2023-24 school year, City National Bank has donated over 125 backpacks filled with school supplies to United Way of Santa Barbara County (United Way) for distribution to students in need. Since 2014, City National Bank has donated 1,000 filled backpacks through United Way. 

United Way recently distributed nearly 50 of these filled backpacks to children in its Fun in the Sun summer learning program at Franklin Elementary School. Fun in the Sun serves over 350 students who qualify for free and reduced-cost school lunches each year at six campuses throughout the county. 

United Way will distribute the remaining backpacks throughout the year to elementary students and families who participate in other United Way community programs, including its United Learning Center tutoring, rental assistance and disaster response programs. 

Purchasing school supplies each year presents a financial burden to many families. City National Bank donates these crucial supplies annually to relieve that burden for families and to ensure that young students have the tools they need to advance toward academic success. 

City National Bank also supports students through Reading Is the Way Up, a fund to support creative literacy programs, and Dollars + Sense, City National’s financial education program.

“City National Bank is honored to partner with United Way for the past ten years,” said Leo Hamill, regional manager of City National Bank Private Banking. “Speaking as a board member myself, in addition to our Montecito team’s hands-on support with Fun in the Sun, it is our greatest hope these backpacks will be given to students who need them most. Our goal is to provide young scholars with essential supplies so that they have the tools to advance towards educational success.”

United Way is committed to developing and leading local programs and partnerships that improve school readiness and academic achievement for Santa Barbara County students and families. School supply drives play an important role in ensuring that all students can begin the school year ready to learn and succeed.

United Way extends its heartfelt thanks to City National Bank for its continued dedication to helping students in Santa Barbara County.

About United Way of Santa Barbara County

Since 1923, United Way of Santa Barbara County has been a key leader in local efforts to empower children, families, and communities through its own unique collaborative programs and initiatives, partnership convening efforts, volunteer development, and funding. United Way’s mission is to enrich the lives of children and families and build resilient communities by leading local programs and partnerships that improve school readiness and academic achievement, financial empowerment, and crisis response and recovery. To learn more, please visit unitedwaysb.org.


United Way of Santa Barbara County

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(805) 965-8591
President & CEO: Steve Ortiz


Our mission is to enrich the lives of children and families and build resilient communities by leading local programs and partnerships that improve school readiness and academic achievement, financial empowerment, and crisis response and recovery.

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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.

Decades of Support

What I appreciate most about United Way’s approach to programming and outreach is that there is an organizational insistence on engaging the whole community. What that means for me personally is that United Way makes it fun and easy to support Fun in the Sun as it encourages more direct donor involvement with the program. This gives me a hands-on and close-up view of the work being done to support both our public schools and students. United Way makes it easy for donors to access all the programs and it involves members of our community at all levels in contributing, volunteering, and active learning about how we can collectively make our wonderful city and county an even better place for all.
David Jackson
Zegar Family Foundation

The Next 100 Years

In addition to its celebration of the 100-year anniversary alongside the volunteers, staff, partners, and supporters who have made the milestone possible, United Way of Santa Barbara County is also undertaking its first endowment campaign since 1982. 

“Our success in launching new programming and establishing new projects and partnerships are a benefit of that campaign 40 years ago,” President & CEO Steve Ortiz says. “With an evolving community, we need to prioritize maintaining UWSBC’s responsive and innovative programmatic infrastructure to adapt to changing needs. Endowment gifts or special anniversary donations will help UWSBC to stay strong for the next 100 years and sustain our impact on behalf of individuals, children, and families countywide.”

UWSBC Board of Directors

Cliff Lundberg, Chair
Vice President Emeritus, Westmont College
Diane B Doiron, CLU, Vice Chair
Owner, Doiron Financial Associates
Susan Hersberger, Vice Chair
Retired Public Relations Executive
Leo Hamill, Treasurer
Senior Vice President/Regional Manager, City National Bank
Steve Ortiz, Secretary
President & CEO, United Way of Santa Barbara County
Rick Scott, Immediate Past Board Chair
Nonprofit Executive
Tim Armour
Retired Executive
Sue Birch
Retired Educator
Lance Connor
Reliable Engineering Services
David Flattery
Vice President of Business Development, DuPont Displays
Robert Hollman
Commercial Real Estate Developer & Owner
Alex Koper
President & CEO, MoXi, Global Mortgage Group
Shari Liu Fellows
Co-Founder/Principal, The Grayson Agency
Terri Maus-Nisich
Assistant CEO, County of Santa Barbara
Art Merovick
Retired Executive
Kevin Nelson
Director of Corporate Compliance, Cottage Health
Patrice Ryan
Retired Executive