Our first responders were, have, and continue to be, amazing. The Thomas Fire, the largest fire in California history, impacted all of our lives from Ventura to Santa Barbara in December. For weeks, the fire burned. In Carpinteria, Summerland and Montecito and Santa Barbara came horrible days and nights as high winds took homes. Our mountains and hills were black but we were determined to pull through together; and, the battle cry was “buy local” just before and after Christmas.
The proverbial “just when you think it can’t get any worse” came in the middle of the night on the 8th of January. It was more than devastating. The loss of lives in our community is terrible. Our clients, our friends, Dads, and Moms just at home, taken from us without warning due to from a rain that turned into mudslides with huge boulders coming down from the mountains that had no brush, trees or foliage to stop it. And then the mandatory evacuation of our business and homes for weeks, the uncertainty of who was here, who was lost and what remained started and continues day in and out as we get back in.
Our community, our main shopping street where Letter Perfect has called home for 32 years on Coast Village Road hard hit by the flooding and on National news time and time again. Our largest tourism bringers, the nearby hotels like the Four Seasons, the Montecito Inn, The San Ysidro Ranch all closed or literally gone. Whatever you saw on National News imagine worse and then you have it. We still have two sweet souls missing. A sweet two-year-old and the nicest young man Jack Cantin. He was just in Letter Perfect around September. We talked about Boy Scouts and thank you notes and I gave him a free pencil he liked.
We are back part time from evacuation during this week. It is weird and morose. Most everyone who has come in has literally cried. Cried for our friends, our community, and our store. It’s going to take a lot to survive. Our Christmas inventory from the holiday fire evacuation still brimming our shelves like some out of date time capsule. Someone asked, “how could we carry on without you being here”? We are trying to help our clients. We saw the births, birthday parties, marriages, businesses and now passing of clients in Montecito, the little suburb of Santa Barbara that we’ve called home for 32 years. It’s emotional, raw and I wonder, will we and our community ever be in peace? We have been here for our friends and customers, but it will take us all to help them and help us.
We are asking for your immediate help. We need donations. We are going to be giving back. Free moving cards for those displaced, free address labels, Valentines and gifts for the first responders. We need to try to relocate temporarily as the community tries to heal and try to drive traffic back to an area that is being rebuilt. We need to give: to clients, first responders and families. We can advertise you on our social media and our pop up downtown. Thank you for those who have already pledged.
To fight for survival Letter Perfect will need operating expenses to stay afloat and hopefully drive more sales traffic to their Coast Village Road store and the other Montecito businesses. We plan to do this through a pop-up shop downtown in Paseo Nuevo. Any donations would be used to help for the payables/rent, marketing expertise, and start-up expenses. We will need new equipment such as cash register, a phone line, and supplies. We need funds for an attorney to help with an insurance claim while continuing to pay the staff and designers. Our large commercial printer named Vicky came back unusable from being fixed. We need a new one desperately. To open and continue will cost close to $95,000. We are asking for 75,000 in support.
Please help us spread the word to help us start our pop up shop! We wish to drive more business back to Coast Village Road in order to keep us and small businesses alike open!
Anything will help. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Letter Perfect on Coast Village Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93108.
- Melissa Vandever
- Devon Geiger
- Mary Dorra
- Melissa Vandever
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