UCSB Athletics Teams With Bridges of Hope International to Make Lasting Difference in South Africa

Sept. 21, 2009

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - As part of the Gauchos Give initiative, UCSB Athletics is pleased to partner with Bridges of Hope International, a Santa Barbara based 501C3 Non-Profit Organization, to make a lasting difference in the lives of those who have been hit hard by the HIV/AIDS pandemic in urban slums of South Africa.

Bridges of Hope is committed to the empowerment of people within their communities to bring about change and has established after school programs, community health training, orphan and vulnerable children's support groups, gang member rehabilitation and in 2007 launched an orphan boarding school. Bridges of Hope is committed to making sure that 100% of donations gets to the need.

Dennis Wadley, Bridges of Hope International Director, said, "We are very excited about the Change for Change Program and the Gauchos Give program at UCSB and look forward to the ways this partnership can transform individuals lives and even whole communities."

Beginning with Tuesday night's soccer match against the U-17 Mexican National Team, fans will have the chance to support the combined efforts of UCSB and Bridges Of Hope with the Change For Change program. By donating spare change in the designated buckets, fans will make a difference in the lives of impoverished children and families in South Africa.

With the arrival of Mark Massari as Athletics Director in October of 2008, UCSB Athletics launched the Gauchos Give community outreach initiative for all 450 athletes and 20 sports. Gaucho athletes give back to their community through free clinics, helping families during the holidays, providing financial and emotional support during tragedies, and touching the lives of youth groups.