Adam’s Angels is an all volunteer-run 501(c)(3) organization that was born as a direct response to the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the lives of our community in Santa Barbara, CA.
Santa Barbara realtors Adam Mckaig and Melissa Borders saw their jobs halted overnight when the first shutdown was declared early March 2020. Bewildered by the impact of the shutdown on the lives of those in the high-risk groups, on March 15 Adam posted a message on Facebook offering delivery of groceries and other necessities to high-risk individuals. Within minutes, many people replied to his post offering their help to deliver items to various areas of Santa Barbara and Goleta. Then came the flood of requests.
Within days of the original social media post, requests were coming in and deliveries to the elderly and immunocompromised were going out. At the same time, many social programs and facilities that support low-income and unsheltered community members were also closed. On one occasion, a local house of worship had collected clothes for an unsheltered woman who slept by the courthouse, and asked Adam if he could bring them to her. Not finding her, Adam instead encountered several other street residents who were confused and scared, not knowing what was happening around them.
“Do you know what is going on?” Adam asked them. “There’s an illness going around.” – said one of them. But they did not understand why the shelters and food sources were closed, and had no information on what to do to stay safe from the mysterious illness. As a quick response, the new group of volunteers put together personal protection kits with gloves, masks, sanitizer and instructions on social distancing, and walked the streets distributing them to all who needed.
At the same time, people who were at home started looking for ways to pass their time, and many started organizing and purging unwanted items from cluttered closets. Thrifts stores were closed, and bags of clothing began accumulating on porches and garages. Seeing two unmet needs – unsheltered individuals who needed clothes, and residents who had unwanted clothes but no place to take them – the now christened Adam’s Angels group collected the clothing and then brought it to Alameda Park for distribution to anyone who needed them. Soon afterwards, Adam’s Angels began assembling bags of non-perishable foods and distributing them at various locations throughout town, on a regular basis. As the year drew to a close, on Thanksgiving and Christmas, volunteers prepared and served hundreds of hot meals to anyone who came – bringing a moment of joy and normality in those difficult days.
As the pandemic progressed, the undying dedication and consistent efforts of Adam’s Angels attracted the attention of other organizations in town who served the community before the shutdown, and soon collaborations were formed. The Angels' reach became wider, and today, Adam’s Angels works 7 days a week, touching the lives of hundreds of community members in need - giving a helping hand in moments of difficulty, a caring gesture, a warm blanket.
From the very beginning, tireless volunteers have donated their time, energy and (those who could) money, continuously supporting the good that Adam’s Angels bring to our community. Slowly, different personalities and skill sets have come together to gradually but steadily structure the long term mission, values and operations of this spontaneous outpour of compassion and generosity that is Adam’s Angels. Shortly after the second anniversary of that first Facebook post, Adam’s Angels became a bonified public charity with a 501(c)(3) status, and looks forward to a future where we will grow in capacity and reach – bringing positive change to more and more community members in need.
Our Board of Directors is composed of experienced community leaders, who have a pulse on the streets, ears in the community and are committed to the growth of Adam’s Angels, to set an example of how grassroots movements, born out of the spontaneous generosity of regular people, can create a big impact in our communities.
Co-Founder and President
Adam is a native of Santa Barbara and seemingly knows everyone in town. His generosity and unstoppable energy is the driving force moving Adam's Angels from the ground up, every day. His wealth of local connections is key for solving the many challenges the Angels face, and his wish is to create a framework of volunteer service that can be reproduced in other communities.
Co-Founder and Secretary
Melissa is also a native of Santa Barbara, and has been building Adam's Angels side by side with Adam from the very start. A mother who raised two children on her own, Melissa is highly sensitive to the cause of children and young adults who are or are at risk of becoming unsheltered. She is spearheading a new project that will focus on their needs in our community.
Dyanne (Crystal) Iverson
Crystal was one of the earliest supporters of Adam's Angels, and brings decades of experience running charity organizations. President of the William Lion Penzner Foundation, she brings notable connections and experience to the forefront of fundraising for Adam's Angels.
A renowned local businesswoman, Teddi is a pillar of the community and her business a hallmark of Santa Barbara's tourism. She is an advocate for engaging young people in serving their community, and illustrates this through her own two children - both active volunteers with Adam's Angels.
Another early Angel, Mary is a renown inspirational speaker and works with healing and empowering of battered women. She hosts the ARISE women's conferences nationally and internationally, and brings a focus on women’s issues to Adam's Angels.