Santa Barbara – Assistance League Carols for Hillside

It’s the connections we have with faith, family, and friends that stand out at this time of year. It’s our true gift of the season. And Assistance League of Santa Barbara is connected to Hillside, a residential home for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, not only by proximity (it shares the property) but by a 73-year relationship which was celebrated with joyous and loud Christmas caroling by over 20 Assistance Leaguers dressed in holiday attire.
“They walked over with Santa Claus who lit the holiday lights of the display outside, and the excitement was palatable,” said Michael Padden-Rubin, Hillside Director of Development. “It was a tremendous showing.”
Led by Program Chair Ann Rudolph, who wore a reindeer sweater appropriate to her last name, the Assistance League members carried on a long tradition of caroling for Hillside residents. Last year the event was much smaller due to the pandemic, but this year it came back in full-force outside.
Gail Campanella got everyone in the spirit of the evening with her lively accordion music. The residents were bundled in sweaters, coats and blankets, sporting big smiles of delight. In addition, the carolers sang “Happy Birthday” to four beaming residents.
“Our evening of caroling for the residents was a very special event, a warm and wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season,” commented Ms. Rudolph.
Assistance League volunteers have raised more than $1,400,000 for the purchase of critical supplies and equipment, as well as sharing in the expense of the physical therapy program to enhance the lives of Hillside residents. Assistance League volunteers serve as Secret Pals, celebrating birthdays and holidays, bringing in entertainment, playing bingo, as well as raising their voices in Christmas song.