‘Touch-A-Truck’ fund raises for postpartum depression at SBCC

Five-year-old Evan Augustus gets his face painted by Maria Perez during the annual Touch-A-Truck event Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. The events largest donation came from the Crane Country Day School, which donated over $2,500.

DANIEL WALLACE, Channels Staff

Hearing the startling call of sirens signifying the commencement of the “Touch-A-Truck” event Sunday morning at City College, families poured into the West Campus Parking Lot to personally engage with a wide variety of machines.

“Touch-A-Truck” is conducted annually by Santa Barbara’s Postpartum Education for Parents, or PEP, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “ease the adjustment of the developing family after the arrival of an infant,” according to their website.

All proceeds toward the event will go to support the nonprofit’s services to the community.

“The money raised helps keep the lights on,” said Stephanie Roth, lead organizer of the event. “This is our biggest fundraiser of the year.”

Throughout the event, children could be seen honking the horns of large trucks; exploring the interiors of vehicles such as police cars, a fire truck, and an ambulance; and even interacting with United States government vehicles such as United States Department of Agriculture trucks and a 1969 United States Army helicopter.

One resident of Santa Barbara who attended the event with her two young children, Monica Eckert, believed that the event really brought the Santa Barbara community together and provided a unique opportunity for people to grapple with the machines on display at the event.

“We see a lot of these vehicles around our community, but we don’t get to interact with them,” Eckert said. “This event provides us with the opportunity to interact with them.”

All the machines on display were donated for the day from their parent organizations, and PEP received significant donations from the event from various community sponsors before the event even began to generate ticket sales.

The largest donation came from the Crane Country Day School, which donated over $2,500.