Update #2: The latest from VCCF on fund disbursement, scholarship program, seeking applications

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Dear Ventura County Community Foundation Family,

You’ve been on my mind all day. While we continue to try to make sense and absorb the reality of our community’s recent tragedies, we are also starting to see what the next phase of recovery looks like. We are working to distribute funds as quickly, responsibly, and effectively as possible. To the thousands (literally!) of donors who have sent their support and love, thank you!

This note is designed to bring you up to speed as well as seek your help in spreading the word.

Conejo Valley Victims Fund

The first two rounds of support to the victims and survivors of the Borderline shooting have been distributed. We awarded an immediate $70,000 in $500 pre-paid Visa cash cards so immediate basic needs could be met through the Thousand Oaks Victims Assistance Center.

We also awarded a total of $240,000 to help cover memorial costs to families who lost loved ones. I am so deeply grateful for Chief of Police Tim Hagel for personally delivering the funds to the families during this devastating time.

Hill Fire and Woolsey Fire Sudden & Urgent Needs Effort

To-date we’ve approved the following grants in the aftermath of the recent fires totaling over $500,000 in immediate support:

  • $150,000 to the Pacific Coast and Ventura County Chapter of the American Red Cross (Red Cross) for an Emergency Response Vehicle
  • $115,000 to the Red Cross for Ventura County Recovery Coordination
  • $146,250 to the Red Cross for General Operations Support
  • $5,000 to 805 Help to support their immediate response to bring online access to our community during the fires
  • $15,000 to Senior Concerns for adult daycare, meals and support for our community’s seniors who were evacuated and need care
  • $5,350 to Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association to help cover costs associated with evacuations of those on hospice
  • $7,000 to the Camarillo Boys & Girls Club to cover costs associated with emergency childcare needs due to school closures
  • $9,500 to the Southeast Ventura YMCA to cover costs associated with emergency childcare needs due to school closures
  • $1,827 to Mark Watring Stables for the evacuation of 43 horses, hauling of feed and water supplies, and overtime
  • $25,000 to the Economic Development Collaborative for General Operations Support as they serve business owners impacted by the fires
  • $21,500 to Cal State Channel Islands Foundation to feed and house students evacuated by the fires
  • $500 to Cal Lutheran University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership to sponsor a free webinar entitled “Fundraising in Response to a Community Crisis”

**Please contact nonprofit@callutheran.edu for more details on this important and timely webinar

We are working to award funds as quickly as possible to nonprofit organizations serving those in need during this challenging time. We are particularly interested in supporting organizations who are assisting in housing and basic needs, animal welfare, business and resiliency support for our community, and medical needs of individuals as a result of the fires. The application is very short and should take no more than 15 minutes to submit at www.vccf.org. Please help spread the word!

805 Undocufund

This is a collective effort to ensure undocumented individuals and families impacted by natural disasters have the support they need. Please join us in helping support our neighbors during this challenging time at www.vccf.org.

VCCF Scholarship Program

Yesterday at noon, VCCF launched its 2019 Application for College Scholarships. Thanks to our generous community, we will be awarding $1.147 million in scholarships to local students this year – more than ever before!

As we saw with the Thomas Fire, it is very challenging to get the word out regarding scholarships in times of disaster. Please help spread the word to the students in your life and encourage them to apply at www.vccf.org. The deadline for applications is January 30, 2019 at 10 p.m. PST.

How You Can Make A Difference

  • Applications for Support: Massive wildfires that cause severe displacement make connecting and supporting fire victims challenging. While we have received some organizational applications for support, FEMA has received a modest number of applications for direct fire victim support. Please encourage those impacted by the fires to apply with FEMA as soon as possible and to also open a case with 2-1-1 who can help connect resources to those in need.
  • Fundraising for the Conejo Valley Victims Fund: We are in the final stages of raising funds to support the families of victims and survivors of the Borderline shooting. We are working with Ken Feinberg, Special Master of the US Government’s September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, who has volunteered to help advise us during this time. Please encourage all you know to donate now and offer support to those impacted by this tragic event at www.vccf.org.
  • Support Services: Please help spread the word that Kaiser Permanente is offering free support groups in Woodland Hills, Thousand Oaks, and Ventura for the Borderline tragedy and fires. Please contact them directly at (805) 449-3442.

Please allow me to take moment to express my deep gratitude for my team and volunteers who have worked countless overtime hours over the past few weeks. They have truly risen to the occasion in an attempt to meet the immense needs of our community. We are all prepared to sustain this effort for the weeks to come.


Vanessa Bechtel

President & CEO

Ventura County Community Foundation | VCCF Nonprofit Center

4001 Mission Oaks Blvd. | Camarillo, CA 93012

Office: 805.330.6676| Fax: 805.484.2700


Investing Together. For good. For ever.

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