Church donates funds to local charities

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This piece was originally published by The Acorn and can be found here.

Leaders of Ventura County Community Foundation and Harbor House were honored at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church annual meeting May 5.

Susan Seale, VCCF director of community relations, and Karen Guetschoff, Harbor House program manager of emergency services, accepted $10,000 contributions for their work in the community.

Church council president Mike Sadowski said the congregation had directed that about $20,000 be split between two local agencies, at least one of which was working for victims of the Borderline shooting and the Woolsey and Hill fires.

Seale said VCCF has a large endowment, a granting process and a strong organizational infrastructure to administer funds.

In the first days after the shooting and the wildfires, VCCF joined with Amgen, the Hilton Foundation, the City of Thousand Oaks, Ventura County and others to create a directed-donation fund for local disaster relief.

The church’s donation will serve residents of Ventura County affected by the disasters.

Guetschoff, whose agency was established recently, said its mission is to help those most vulnerable in the community by working closely with City of T.O. and local faith groups to address the needs of the working poor and homeless.

Harbor House manages the daily meals and winter sleeping shelter program, which Holy Trinity also supports, as well as provides case management, resource finding and counseling.

Guetschoff alluded to the biblical commandment to “Feed my sheep” when accepting the donation.

The Rev. Erik Goehner, Holy Trinity senior pastor, complimented the congregation’s generosity, saying how exciting it is to be able give away $20,000.

In his closing prayer he gave thanks that the congregation was blessed with a surplus last year and a desire to help the community.

Also, the congregation is renovating its Honey Tree Preschool and the multipurpose fellowship hall to benefit the neighborhood.

Holy Trinity is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

For more information, call the church at (805) 492-1234.

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