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Los Angeles Times / News - Politics

Community donation efforts begin to help Montecito mudslide victims

Days after the Montecito mudslides, organizations seek donations to help victims.

Days after post-fire mudslides killed 19 people in Montecito, organizations have begun to raise money to help those most affected by the disaster.

Real estate tycoon Rick Caruso, who is building a beach-side hotel in the area, has partnered with the American Red Cross, donating $250,000.

Caruso and the disaster relief group aim to raise $1 million in coming weeks to address the most urgent needs and to help with long-term rebuilding efforts.

"This is the time to invest in the resillience of this community," said Jim McGee, chief executive officer for the Red Cross Central California region. "We would love it if other leaders would step up and contribute."

The United Way in Santa Barbara and Ventura is also supporting the victims of the mudslides, according to the Santa Barbara Independent. The organization began to fundraise in the early days of December's fire and has received about $2.7 million.

They have distributed $500 prepaid credit cards to about 1,000 Ventura residents whose homes were destroyed. More contributions will be made in coming days.