Press Release: Aera Energy Donates $355,000 for Emergency COVID-19 Funding to Support Several California Communities
Encourages other companies to contribute to COVID-19 relief funds where they operate
Camarillo, Calif. – As COVID-19 continues to impact our community in ways we could never have imagined, we at Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF) are pleased to announce local oil and gas producer Aera Energy, is stepping in with emergency funding and a challenge to the community to help us address some of the most pressing needs in our community.
Aera has given VCCF $50,000 in immediate funding to be distributed through the Ventura County Rapid Response Fund for COVID-19 recovery efforts. On top of the donation, Aera is challenging our community to contribute matching funds, in any amount, in an effort to increase support for nonprofit organizations addressing the needs of individuals and families with food and housing support, childcare, wage replacement, mental health care, and more. during this pandemic. VCCF is proud to partner with direct service providers, including:
- Southeast Ventura County YMCA where individuals and families throughout Ventura County can apply for direct financial assistance.
- Give An Hour is available to help support mental health and emotional wellness needs in our community as it responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Economic Development Collaborative and its Small Business Development Center will remain open throughout this crisis, providing direct business advising to help firms navigate through the economic slowdown and connecting businesses with the full range of resources available, including low cost capital.
“We are so incredibly grateful for the generosity of Aera Energy. This support is vital and will help serve as a catalyst for additional community giving. The needs are significant and we are doing all we can to rapidly respond to the wide range of crises caused by the COVID-19 situation,” said Vanessa Bechtel, President & CEO of the Ventura County Community Foundation. “With an international pandemic and volatile global markets, it is natural for us to feel alarm and deep concern. But, our community is a generous one and we know we cannot let fear prevent us from taking the very urgent actions to help Ventura County and those in our community who lack a reliable and consistent social safety net. By taking action in times of great uncertainty, we will collectively demonstrate that we are resilient and it will prevent us from being a victim to things beyond our control – Aera has stepped forward to help us through what will prove to be one of the toughest times in our history. This funding allows us to be nimble and to use the funding when and where we need it the most. This donation is simply invaluable.”
Aera committed a total of $255,000 to support several community COVID-19 relief funds in the communities where the company operates – including Kern, Ventura, Monterey, Fresno and Santa Barbara counties. Locally, many organizations have already seen an increase in the number of requests coming in for financial assistance. This emergency funding will enable the foundations to prioritize those requests and even in some cases, turn funding around that same day.
Additionally, Aera donated $100,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County to support the organization’s increased efforts to accept new members, extend programs and serve more meals to local youth.
“We are living in unprecedented times. COVID-19 has already impacted every single one of us. People are hurting, and I believe by working together, we can overcome this virus in the foreseeable future,” said Christina Sistrunk, president and CEO of Aera Energy. “Aera’s donation represents the commitment we have to the communities where we operate. As a corporate partner, we believe we need to show up for our neighbors and friends in both the good times and the challenging times. I would invite other California companies to join us in this fight against the biggest health crisis of our time and help our communities in their greatest time of need.”