S.B. Gift Baskets Thanking Firefighters with Care Packages

In the wake of the devastating Thomas Fire and deadly mudflow that ravaged our towns, Santa Barbara Gift Baskets developed an opportunity for people to directly thank first responders who protected our community and help small, local businesses recover from critical holiday-season losses. On February 10, SB Gift Baskets will assemble and ship care packages to first responders from neighboring counties and states, filled with locally made treasures. The care packages are available in three sizes, feeding up to 30 firefighters, and range from $75 – $275. A portion of the cost will be donated to Direct Relief and SB Gift Baskets will pay all shipping.

The Santa Barbara Gift Baskets store in Old Town Goleta shows that creating gift baskets is, in fact, extreme crafting.
File photo

As the wife of a Santa Barbara County fire captain, Santa Barbara Gift Baskets owner Anne Pazier knows firsthand what it’s like for firefighters who spent their holiday season away from their own homes, because they were out protecting others’. While our local fire departments were showered in gifts of gratitude, “I wished there was a way to share some of that bounty with all of the out-of-county firefighters,” Pazier said.

At the same time, she was concerned for her local vendors and businesses that were forced to close during the fire, resulting in a loss of critical holiday retail sales. Pazier points out, “When client’s order a care package, not only are they feeding up to 30 firefighters, they’re investing in more than 15 local businesses represented by the products in the gift.”

Within a few days of offering the Care Packages on her website, Pazier was amazed by the response. Groups such as classrooms, sports teams, churches, and book clubs were ordering care packages to express their gratitude to the specific Strike Teams and Hand Crews who stood guard over their personal homes, camped out in their school cafeterias, or were simply listed among the hundreds of agencies who sent aid. If an agency isn’t specified on an order, Pazier and her team will match care packages to those identified as supporting the local disasters, and are asking for people to nominate agencies via SB Gift Baskets’ Facebook and Instagram accounts.

“It’s been so powerful to hear the stories accompanying the orders coming in. We even had a woman bring in her Christmas-bonus check to buy one,” Pazier said, noting that many orders are coming from out of state — and even one from Australia. It seems the whole world wants to give thanks to these brave men and women.

On February 10, from 2 to 6 p.m. Santa Barbara Gift Baskets will host a “Packaging Party,” where guests can participate in wrapping the gifts, making cards and writing thank-you notes. Wine tasting will be offered at a suggested donation of $15, with 100% of the tasting fee going to Direct Relief. The “Love Boxes” will be shipped that Monday, February 12, and will appropriately arrive on or around Valentines Day.

Santa Barbara Gift Baskets specializes in designing gift baskets featuring local Santa Barbara gourmet food, wine, and craft beers. They deliver locally in Santa Barbara, Isla Vista, Goleta and Montecito, and ship nationwide. To purchase a care package and learn more about the Packaging Party, visit www.santabarbaragiftbaskets.com .

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