December 2020 Newsletter

“A Child’s Christmas in Wales”
By Dylan Thomas

We hope that you will enjoy this special reading by our very own Malcolm Manson.

Wishing you the merriest Christmas from the British Benevolent Society!


As we reach the end of the year we would like to report that the BBS has provided nearly $130,000 in financial aid to British nationals in need. The Relief Committee provided support to those struggling in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, cancer patients who were forced to put treatment on hold, families who had been separated by the pandemic, and many other devastating circumstances.

It has been an incredibly busy year for the Relief Committee. Since early March, we have shared stories of many Brits who have been financially impacted by the pandemic. Many British expats were forced to make heartbreaking decisions about remaining in the US and continuing to fight for their dreams while struggling to put food on the table or pay medical bills. A few decided it was time to return to the UK where they could reunite with their families or support systems that unfortunately also faced similar circumstances created by the global pandemic.

This month alone the BBS helped repatriate a single mother and her three young children, paid rent and provided basic necessities for a single mother going through a divorce, and also approved two additional Covid19 grants.

The BBS is grateful to our members and partners for all of their support during 2020.

2020 Annual General Meeting

The 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place in November. We welcomed our highest ever attendance to this event – where we reflected on accomplishments of 2019 and 2020. We are grateful for our close relationships and partnerships with the British Consulates in San Francisco and Los Angeles as well as British organizations throughout the Western United States. As expected, there was a vast increase in the amount of relief and assistance since the end of 2019. The positive impact that has been made by the BBS throughout the pandemic would not have been possible without these strong relationships.

Thank you to everyone who joined the AGM and continues to support the BBS and its mission.

Who We Are & How We Help

During the AGM, we shared a newly produced video that captures the core mission of the BBS. The goal of the video is to demonstrate who we are and how we help. Please consider sharing with friends and family. The more people that know about the BBS, the stronger the possibility of the organization helping a Brit in need.

BBS Virtual Christmas Wine Tasting

Our annual Christmas party may not have been in person this year but we managed to host a lovely festive event. A big thank you to BBS members and international wine makers Nick and Yolyn Goldschmidt from Goldschmidt Vineyards. Nick was an amazing host who brought all of his wines to life, even through Zoom. Attendees were taken on a tour of the origins of his wines as well as their namesakes (hint– they are his daughters). There was a strong representation of ugly sweaters and festive Christmas attire and we even received a surprise appearance from one of our Board members dressed as Santa! Thank you to our Pub Quiz master Peter Brook for once again preparing a very entertaining and challenging quiz!

On top of all of the fun, we were able to raise more than $2,000 from the event. It was so nice to see everyone and celebrate the Christmas season! Let’s hope we can meet in person sooner rather than later.

2021 Events

It’s time to start planning for 2021! Please consider joining us along side our friends with the British American Business Council for a Great British American Pub Quiz!

Thursday, 14 January


How this works:
Just like at the pub, you will each need to be a part of a pub quiz team.


  • Maximum team size is 4
  • Registration fee, $20 per computer
  • If you need to be connected with a team, singles and doubles upon registration, we can do this for you
  • Teams do not need to be at the same computer to participate, they can collaborate answers through a WhatsApp group or a private chat on Zoom
  • Each team will designate a team captain
  • Feel free to register/log into the Zoom appointment up to 15 minutes prior to the actual start time. Give yourself time to get organized, make yourself a drink and get comfortable!

Details & Registration Here



Charitable Donations

It is always the right time to consider making a charitable and tax deductible donation to the BBS. If it has been a while since you have made a donation, please take a moment and make a donation today!

An easy way to make a donation is through AmazonSmile! The difference between Amazon and the AmazonSmile Foundation, is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. By designating the BBS as your preferred charity you are making a simple and easy donation!

Please keep in mind that your company may match any donation to the BBS. If the time is right, then please consider making a charitable and generally tax deductible donation to the BBS today.

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The British Benevolent Society of California provides financial aid and compassionate relief to British Citizens in need throughout the Western United States.

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"We had a wonderful time at the AGM! It was so nice to see friends and catch up on BBS events and relief cases."

Elizabeth M