Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade

Year: 2018

Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade – Jacaranda Award for Community Service


When the community was struck with disaster on January 9th, many citizens asked what they could do to help those most impacted. The Bucket Brigade was soon formed to organize a community volunteer response to the tragic Debris Flow which devastated the community of Montecito. The disaster caused 23 fatalities and over 150 injuries. More than 100 homes were destroyed and an additional 300 homes were damaged. Since the disaster, the Bucket Brigade has led over 3,000 volunteers into the community to help those directly affected by the Debris Flow – digging mud and debris out of homes, helping families find lost belongings, cleaning up public open spaces, helping to restore local trails, and rescuing endangered oak trees.

Even today, many months later, the Bucket Brigade continues to work on clean up and to look for the two children missing since that night – Lydia Sutthithepa and John “Jack” Cantin.

The Brigade has also organized as a nonprofit to prepare for and respond to natural disasters and community crises through volunteer training, coordination, and deployment. Its board and founders continue to lead the charge to assist their neighbors in need, earning them respect and honor from their community. Santa Barbara Beautiful recognizes their important work by awarding them the Jacaranda Award for Community Service.

Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade

Abe Powell, Co-Founder, Executive Director

Linda E. Cole, Co-Founder, President

Thomas Cole, Co-Founder, Vice President

Jessica Powell, Co-Founder, Secretary

Caroline Harrah, Treasurer

Josiah Hamilton, Co-Founder, Board Member

Scott Rouleau, Board Member

Patricia Swenson, Board Member