Amid the tragedy of the Thomas Fire, I’m compelled to share about the joy and gratitude experienced by the Ventura College community.

Ventura College and its foundation have launched a victim relief drive for donations of cash needed by many of the students, support staff and part-time faculty who have suffered loss.

For many of our students, the fire caused catastrophic loss of income. Many of our students are single parents who work full- or part-time while their children attend school. With schools and many businesses closed, these students lost child care or income from work.

In an incredible moment of support from our sister community college district in Santa Barbara County, the Santa Barbara City College Foundation has issued a $5,000 check to the Ventura College Foundation Fire Emergency Fund. The leadership at SBCCF wanted to demonstrate support for us and those we serve in this unusual time of need.

Additionally, the Ventura College Foundation will receive $4,950 from the Ventura County Community Foundation. VCCF is supporting nonprofits that are managing Thomas Fire relief efforts. We are incredibly grateful for the solidarity that the nonprofit community has shared with our campus and our most vulnerable fire victims.

We have raised almost $20,000 in this fund to date. Now, we have the capacity to serve 72 Ventura College Pirates in need, spreading more joy while helping to rebuild lives as we heal as a community.

Editor: The author is executive director of the Ventura College Foundation.

Anne Paul King, Ventura