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Project 1: Finishing the Search for Lost Children

John “Jack” Cantin

Since the Debris Flow of January 9, 2018, 21 of the 23 victims have been found but, sadly, two have not. Lydia Sutthithepa and John “Jack” Cantin are still missing. The search for Jack and Lydia lies at the heart of our community’s quest for closure after this horrible tragedy.

Looking for Montecito’s lost children is not something we talk about a lot at the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade, but it is something we have been quietly, persistently doing for the last eight months. Search and Rescue has searched valiantly, time and time again, to no avail. At this stage, bridges are being rebuilt and most of the mud has been cleaned up from homes and properties throughout the community. But not all of it.

And there lies the issue. Until we have completed the cleanup of the Montecito Creek corridor that took so many of our friends and neighbors from us on 1/9, there is still a chance that we could find those kids. We are close, but we are not done, and we have not given up on finding Lydia and Jack.

We are committed to clearing all of the debris between Old Spanish Town and the ocean until the missing children have been found, or until the last pile of mud has been checked and cleared.

Clearing the debris also restores harmony to the community and shows resilience. Big piles of mud and damaged homes are a visible wound in our neighborhoods. This wound reminds everyone of the disaster and prevents the healing that we all need right now. There are so many reasons to get this mess cleaned up and we are so close to getting it done.

However, the machines and trucks needed to perform this work cost money, and many homeowners do not have the insurance coverage they need to deal with all the dirt that 1/9 deposited on their homes and property.

Please consider making a contribution to the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade to help us complete this work. We have received many generous donations this year and we have put them to work helping to get this community back on its feet. We are literally down to the last mile in this cleanup and we can’t give up now.

Together, we can help these folks move forward, heal the visible wounds in our community and complete the search for Jack and Lydia. In finishing this job, we will be affording the friends and families of the victims, and our whole community, some measure of peace.

We haven’t given up and we know the people of this community haven’t either. Let’s pull together now and get this done.

PROJECT 2: Memorial Benches

SB3 is creating custom memorial benches for each victim of the 1/9 Disaster.

The benches will form a network of lasting small memorials throughout the community to help remember the fallen and to continue the healing process for the families and the whole community.

SB3 has partnered with local artisan David Moseley to use locally harvested wood from fallen trees to create beautiful, lasting memorial benches.

PROJECT 3: Trail and Open Space Restoration

SB3 has partnered with The Land Trust of Santa Barbara, The Montecito Trails Foundation and the Workforce Development Board of Santa Barbara to help restore the public open spaces and trails that were badly damaged by the debris flow.

We are completing a 6-month project in the Ennisbrook 44 Acre public open space in October and will be continuing to work on trails with our partners.

PROJECT 4: Creek and Beach Clean Up

There is still a great deal of debris along the creeks and beaches below the Thomas Fire Burn Scar. SB3 and our Workforce Development Team will be working to remove the debris from the beaches and creeks before winter comes. We will be working on weekdays in September, October and November. Please sign up on our Volunteer page if you would like to come and help.

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