of Greater Santa Barbara

Donor Spotlight

The Heart of Educational Programs


During the construction on the Goleta Valley Center in 2006, Mercedes Millington, a former librarian, got involved with Girls Inc. once she heard the new Girls Inc. center would have its own library. With an emphasis on education, The John Mithun Foundation, with whom Mercedes is affiliated, made a generous donation to finish the center with the belief that a library is at the heart of any program.

The Mithun Foundation continues today to build an endowment toward fully supporting the Goleta Valley Center library as a professionally-run and full-service resource library for Girls Inc. The library serves as the “heart” for both the after-school and summer curriculum.

“We want to perpetuate the library because books are influential. In spite of the digital devices and how available they are, there is something about touching a book because it gets to another sense of you. It’s not just the visual or the auditory, you feel it; you smell the book. Education and books go together; books are a great way to learn how to live.”

Be inspired to follow your passion as a way to align with what is happening at Girls Inc. There are so many different avenues for donors to come in through—from sports to technology to cooking—based on what is important to you. For me, it was the library. I want to help educate the public on the many different ways they can support girls.