News & Events

Loads of CARING - Free Laundry Services Program for Seniors in Santa Maria, CA

Clean. Accessible. Resourceful. Impactful. Need-based. Giving. These are the attributes of the Loads of CARING Laundry Services Program at Community Partners in Caring. The Loads of CARING (LOC) Laundry Services Program provides free, senior-centric laundry services for those in need located in the Santa Maria, California area.

"Taking care of laundry is a task that provides individuals with the proper hygiene and personal cleanliness that provides individuals with the ability to look and feel their best,” says Jian Massucco, the agency’s Program Services Coordinator. “Having clean laundry can contribute to the improvement of a seniors’ mental, physical, and emotional well-being."

Many seniors take on the task of washing their laundry in laundromats and centers that offer them paid washing services, or search for ways to have their laundry cleaned if they are unable. Physical ailments, chronic pain, in addition to dementia and other limiting factors and chronic health conditions and transportation impediments can contribute to the lack of clean laundry. LOC provides the additional helping hand that many seniors need.

"Far too many of our elders are struggling in silence. They don't wish to wear dirty clothes; physical and financial limitations make it impossible to take care of laundry. We're seeking 10 kind-hearted volunteers to help get Loads of Caring off the ground," said Vilma Contreras, the agency's Executive Director. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is also a factor that limits many seniors to complete their traditional laundry tasks, and other traditional ADL activities. The Community Partners in Caring Loads of CARING Laundry Services Program helps limit the exposure of seniors entering laundromats and other washing facilities by picking up, washing, drying, folding, and dropping off laundry to assist with this community need.

The LOC services will be available to Santa Maria, CA seniors who meet eligibility criteria beginning Monday, October 25, 2021.

Seniors will have two laundry dates from which to choose each week on Mondays or Fridays. The agency is currently recruiting volunteers interested in assisting with the pick-up, drop-off, and washing of the laundry items and will be conducting volunteer training the week of October 9, 2021.

If interested in volunteering or receiving the laundry services contact: Call (805) 925-8000 or visit

News: Social distancing rules make funeral services challenging

Well, at least tears are still permitted at funerals.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a patchwork of bureaucratic guidelines by departments of public health in Sacramento and the counties that have made the business of operating a funeral home incredibly complex.

Until late in May, funeral homes were not permitting more than 10 people to attend a funeral indoors, everyone had to wear a mask, and no one could get closer than six feet in order to maintain a safe social distance.

However, strict rules on how many can attend a funeral are beginning to crumble — something that may give the funeral industry a second life.

The Santa Barbara Cemetery has limited burial ceremonies to 10 attendees. No flowers have been permitted and anyone beyond the 10-person crowd size is required to sit in their car. Everyone remains in their cars until the deceased is fully buried, and staff have moved away.

Read the full article here.

News: Funeral Homes Turn to Zoom, Creativity Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

At McDermott-Crockett Mortuary, they have joined the ranks of private business and schools and are offering services through Zoom. 

"We are utilizing Zoom technology to either video document the service or provide a platform where people can participate wherever they are," said Jennifer Parks, general manager, funeral arrangement counselor, and a certified funeral celebrant for McDermott-Crockett. 

Parks said the mortuary utilized the technology at a recent service, which 57 people attended remotely. One of the three people graveside at the Santa Barbara Cemetery streamed the video on their phone.

"They were able to see and speak at the grave site by way of technology," Parks said. 

Read the full article here.

News: Zoom Turns Into Live Funeral, Memorial Service Platform

San Francisco: While the controversial video meet app Zoom is busy serving the living – helping millions participate in video conferencing calls worldwide – the platform has also become a live funeral and memorial services for many to connect with families and friends during the mourning hours.

Several social media users have revealed how they participated in last rites and memorial services of their near and dear ones on Zoom in social distancing times amid lockdowns when all kind of gatherings are banned. 

Read the full article here.

News: The Lonely Funeral Blues

Twelve. This is the number of people who have died of COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County since Governor Newsom issued a stay-at-home order that, among many guidelines, restricts gatherings of more than 10 people. But in the wake of the pandemic, funeral directors must balance social distancing with the undeniable needs of a family in mourning. For each of the 12, whose names remain clothed in privacy laws, there were friends, family, and loved ones who were forced to find alternative ways to grieve together without actually being together. It’s a dilemma shared by all families who have lost a loved one in the past two months — on average, eight people die daily in the county for a variety of reasons.

Read the full article here.