Pacific Pride Foundation (PPF), the only non-profit organization in the Santa Barbara County that offers services and programs to the LGBTQ community, is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The Foundation will celebrate the milestone by hosting special events and highlighting success stories from current and past clients to engage community members.
"Through determination we have managed as a non-profit to stay afloat and continued to provide quality service to our members," said Colette Schabram, the newly appointed executive director of the Pacific Pride Foundation. "PPF couldn't have reached this point if it weren't for the team's hard work and the support from our community. This milestone is a culmination of all of our efforts."
Since its inception, PPF has relied on donations and grants to continue the life-saving work for the LGBTQ community. All programs and services are funded through contributions made by donors and sponsors. In an effort to continue its fundraising efforts, PPF will be encouraging members of the community to donate $40 as part of their 40th anniversary celebration.
With offices in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, PPF has evolved over the years from a drug and alcohol abuse-counseling center to a full service LGBTQ organization. Primarily focused on community building and education, the Foundation provides services that include corporate and non-profit LGBT sensitivity trainings, HIV and Hepatitis C testing and harm reduction counseling in both English and Spanish.
"It all starts with education," said Marco Antonio Silva, chair and board member of the Pacific Pride Foundation. "Prevention programs are the number one method to stopping the spread of HIV. By providing the right information, people are able to make educated choices when it comes to their health."
In addition to the education and support programs offered by PPF, the two offices in the County also offer risk assessment, sterile syringes and various other supplies and materials to help reduce the spread of HIV and support those who may be struggling with substance dependency.
PPF is administered by a committee of directors, whose mission is to empower the LGBTQ community. Members of the board come from different professional backgrounds ranging from education to finance. The Board is currently on a countywide search for new members that look to make a change in their community.
This is not the first time the Board has rallied to find the right fit to join PPF. In early 2015, PPF's Board of Directors along with community partners launched a nationwide search to find the right leader to support the Foundation's commitment to LGBTQ advocacy and HIV/AIDS services. In June, Colette Schabram was selected and appointed to lead the Foundation.