SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Direct Relief is just weeks away from moving into a new and much larger facility enabling the humanitarian aid organization to expand its global and local reach.
Direct Relief is currently based in Goleta in a 38,000 square foot facility.
The new headquarters, just blocks away in Santa Barbara is 155,000 square feet.
Direct Relief has provided lifesaving medical aid for people impacted by poverty and natural disasters for 70 years.
"It's a real privilege to be able to help and now help more expansively than ever before," said President and CEO Thomas Tighe.
The warehouse inside the new headquarters is roughly the size of two football fields and will allow the organization to stockpile supplies.
"Many businesses don't want to stockpile and hold inventory and we don't mind doing that for exactly the reasons we've seen from Texas, to Florida, to the Caribbean, to here," Tighe said.
The local community reaped the benefits of Direct Relief's stockpile during the Thomas fire.
"With the fires, the half a million masks that we had in stock and on site were really helpful for the residents," he said.
The new warehouse also holds a larger cold storage unit for insulin and other medicines.
"To have a giant room size refrigerator that can hold 280 pallets, a normal person wouldn't get excited about that," Tighe said. "But for Direct Relief, it's huge because we know people need it."
With the increased space and new technology, the non-profit will not only be larger but more efficient and productive.
"The past year has shown a lot of signals to Direct Relief that the role is still important," Tighe said. "A lot of people need help, whether they are born into difficult circumstances or pushed by events into these natural disasters that are just tragic."
Direct Relief hopes to be fully operational in the new facility around May 24.
The cost of the project is 40 million dollars. The organization has raised about 38 million with a fundraising campaign still ongoing.
To donate and learn more about Direct Relief, click here.