Students looking for a good lunch and a good way to help a former community member in need can stop by the MultiCultural Center (MCC) today for homemade Mexican food.

The Interested Ladies of Lambda Theta Alpha will be selling plates of pozole – a Mexican soup with beef or pork, hominy and vegetables – for $5 in the MCC lounge from 11 to 2 p.m. All proceeds will go to Karla Becerra, an 18-year-old former Santa Barbara City College student who is now in Los Angeles raising six siblings, ages 8 -18, and her own child, said Patty Alvarado, chair of the organization.

Becerra’s parents were killed Oct. 6 in Vernon, a city of L.A. County, when ex-convict Raymond Bermudez hit the couple with a stolen tow truck as they were standing at a bus stop, said Lt. James Rodino, press liaison officer for the Vernon Police Dept. The single mother of a 13-year-old boy was also killed in the accident, Rodino said.

Bermudez is in custody and has been charged with three counts of murder, several counts of assault with a deadly weapon and auto theft, Rodino said.

One of the Interested Ladies of Lambda Theta Alpha, Luvia Rivera, said she became acquainted with Becerra when she worked as a tutor at San Marcos High School. Rivera, a third-year sociology and Chicano studies major, said she tutored Becerra, who was a senior at the time, for two classes in order to help her graduate on time.

“She got pregnant and was missing units and struggling to graduate from high school,” Rivera said. “I helped her to graduate from high school and she started attending SBCC.”

Rivera said Becerra needs money to take care of her siblings and child as well as to send her parents’ bodies back to Mexico to be buried.

Alvarado, a third-year law & society and sociology major, said the fundraiser for Becerra is one of her group’s first charity events.

“This is a good opportunity to give back to the community,” Alvarado said. “We’ve never had one specific person to give money to. It’s an opportunity to help a person that really needs our help. Also, not many people in Santa Barbara know about what happened – it’s a good way to get the word out.”

The ladies hope to attract at least 60 people to their fundraiser, Alvarado said. They have also appealed to various campus groups for money, including Hermanos Unidos, who donated $105, and the Sociology 144 class, which donated $175, she said.

The Vernon Police Assoc. is also collecting money for Becerra and the 13-year-old boy, Rodino said. To donate to the fund, community members can send checks payable to Vernon Police Assoc., care of Lt. James P. Rodino, 4305 Santa Fe Ave., Vernon, CA 90058.

The Interested Ladies of Lambda Theta Alpha are looking to start a chapter of the Lambda Theta Alpha sorority at UCSB, Alvarado said. They have been working for a year and a half to complete the fundraising, volunteer and organizational prerequisites to join the sorority.