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I had the opportunity to meet with Judy Newland, the Santa Barbara area coordinator for Project Night Night, on a recent morning.  Although I had spoken with her before, we had not met.  I was so impressed by this lovely woman.  She has a true passion for the homeless children in Santa Barbara.

Judy began Project Night Night in Santa Barbara in March of 2012.  Since that time, 407 bags have been given locally.  Most of these have gone to Transition House, St. Vincent’s, and Domestic Violence Solutions.  In times of emergencies or fires, she takes the bags to local Red Cross shelters.

Judy shared with me a recent email she received from Transition House.:

Hello Judy,

Thank you for ALL the gifts you provide Transition House and the families we serve.  I have attached a few photos for you to share with your group.  A Project Night Night bag is placed on each child’s bed on their first night in the shelter.  The gifts help each child become comfortable as they enter a new environment.  It has been a HUGE success and hope it can continue.  

 Thank you again for all you do!

Judy told me that this was a room set up for a mom with three children.  Judy specially selects the book, toy and blanket to fit the age/sex of each child and that they look pleasing together.  Judy said that one child mentioned that they had never had a toy with the tag still attached; they had never had a new toy.  The children love having a bag of their own.

Needed are new blankets, new or like-new children’s books and stuffed animals. 

Judy provides the tote bags.  She currently has books that were donated from a publisher and many stuffed animals, although she could use more.  Her biggest need is for blankets.  The desired size is crib size, in various themes for infant to 12 years of age.  She has some larger blankets that were donated that need to be made smaller.  

Call Judy Newland at (805)637-0268 or email judith.newland@gmail.com if you can help.

The Santa Barbara News-Press used to have a page in the Sunday Life Section which featured “Lighting the Way – Opportunities to Shine” in which Judy’s needs were made known.  Since the newspaper has shrunk its size and content, this page is no longer printed.  Her volunteers have dropped off dramatically.  She has had donations in the past from church groups that have divided their year’s work among several charities.  Judy fears that these donations will drop off if no one knows that Project Night Night is still in Santa Barbara.  Please spread the word.

Be sure to subscribe to Sew Santa Barbara HERE for more updates.  If your charity has a sewing need, Email Me!

 In calling the News-Press to find out the status of this page, I was informed that it is now online only.  But unfortunately, even if you have an online subscription, this page cannot be found unless you search for it.  There is no link to it on the News-Press website or paper.  To get to this page, you must go online as a subscriber,  then go to Local, then Life, then find the Sunday listing, then find LIGHTING THE WAY.   View Sunday’s online version HERE.

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