A Letter from Our President & CEO
Dear Ventura County Community Foundation Family,
You’ve been on my mind so much these past few days. As COVID-19 continues to create pain for so many, I’ve been increasingly reminded of how vital it is for us to continue to build and strengthen our own community together.
By working towards a common goal these past four months, we’ve collectively been able to contribute over $7.5 million to support our neighbors enduring some of the most desperate of situations. For example, because of you, those that were homeless have a safe roof over their head. You’ve also ensured essential workers have a safe place for their young children. And, you’ve stepped forward to ensure that those that have been victims of abuse and crime are able to leave dangerous situations. You have provided confidential, online mental health and emotional support services in both English and Spanish from trauma informed specialists, and you have served our veterans. You’ve helped cancer patients and seniors that are isolated and in need of meal delivery and other resources, and you’ve provided food for tens of thousands. The list of what we’ve accomplished together is tremendous and so needed.
Collectively you have mobilized your own networks and have come up with the most creative ways of helping to garner support. Children have designed cards and stickers, artists have donated their work, jewelers have designed pieces and have donated their hard-earned revenue. Many of you gave back your stimulus checks, with notes that express that you know there are others that need it more. I’m in awe of your generosity and empathy for others.
One of the key attributes of what unites and strengthens a community is fairness. Yet COVID-19 highlights the unfairness of our world in increasingly apparent ways. Women and people of color are losing jobs at three times the rate of others. Those that are living in crowded units are suffering a higher percentage of loss due to COVID-19 in their families. The list is long, yet together we are fighting that unfairness with each act of service and generosity.
Thank you for sharing your feedback and dreams for a better world with us. We have a long history at the Ventura County Community Foundation going back over thirty years. Our community has grown by over 10,000 new donors and supporters and together, we will continue to celebrate and honor our history of serving Ventura County. You embody the saying of Henrik Ibsen, “A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.” Thank you for your leadership during this time.