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Local teens volunteer with Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade: Published in KEYT

Santa Barbara- S County

Local teens from the non-profit group Aha! pitched in to help the Santa Barbara Bucket Bridgade's recovery efforts in Montecito.

The teens, ages 13 to 19, shoveled and brushed mud away from trees to save them from suffocating in an open space on San Leandro Lane.

Link to article on

Aha!, based in Santa Barbara, serves 3,500 teens every year by helping them connect emotionally and socially through school, after-school and summer programs. Many of those teens may have not had access to these learning opportunities otherwise.

"The takeaway for all teens is that when they are useful and they connect, they are happier people," said Executive Director Jennifer Freed.

"These kids are a huge part of our growing community. A lot of them have never been over to this part of town," said Bucket Brigade co-founder Josiah Hamilton. "We want them to know that we've got their back as much as they've got our back."

The Bucket Brigade has been digging out homes and trees in Montecito in the wake of the mudslide.

Brigade volunteers hope that by getting their hands dirty, the teens would come away with a greater sense of pride in their community and an appreciation for public spaces.

This volunteer event is a precursor to a big event called "Rising Together" put on by Aha! teens in the Peace Builders program.

"Rising Together" will take place on April 21 at Santa Barbara City College. A human art image with 1,000 people will for a dove of peace symbolizing rising out of the mud and ashes.

To find out more, click here.

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