Ventura County Community Foundation Announces Matching Fund Opportunity for COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund

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Amgen Foundation to Contribute $300,000 in Matching Support to Rapid Response Fund


Camarillo, CA — Since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Ventura County Community Foundation donors have granted out an incredible $14 million to support local small businesses, individuals and families in need, our essential workers, and our indispensable nonprofits on the front lines.

This crisis is not over! As the current health and economic challenges continue, so do community needs. This is evident by the increase in services from Ventura County Community Foundation partner, FOOD Share Inc. whose organization has gone from serving meals to 75,000 people per month to 150,000 per month since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To meet the demand for support, Amgen Foundation has announced it will contribute another $300,000 in matching funds to VCCF’s Rapid Response Fund.

“Over the next 6-8 weeks, our goal is to raise a total of $600,000 with the help of these matching dollars,” said Vanessa Bechtel, President and CEO. “We are so profoundly grateful to the Amgen Foundation for their partnership over the last year and their continued generosity in supporting COVID-19 relief efforts.”

Funds raised from the matching campaign will benefit local nonprofit organizations addressing the ongoing needs of individuals and families with food and housing support, childcare, wage replacement, mental health care, and more related to COVID-19.

As a critical partner in the launch of the Rapid Response Fund for Ventura County in March 2020, the Amgen Foundation has been there to propel this vital community-wide effort since the very beginning.

“This new $300K grant brings the Amgen Foundation’s support of VCCF’s Rapid Response Fund to $1M. We commend VCCF for its ongoing/steadfast efforts to address the enormous challenges faced by our community, particularly supporting local small businesses, individuals, families and our essential workers,” said Eduardo Cetlin, president of the Amgen Foundation.

To date, funds raised and distributed through the Ventura Rapid Response Fund have aided:

  • 385 seniors through the delivery of 150,753 meals with Conejo Valley Senior Concerns
  • Close to 500 families on the verge of homelessness with direct cash support to help pay essential bills through the Southeast Ventura County YMCA
  • Close to 3,000 undocumented families, mostly farmworkers and local service workers with direct cash assistance for rent and basic needs
  • 3,500 farmworker families impacted by COVID-19 with safe housing
  • More than 2,000 local small businesses directly supported by the Economic Development Collaborative and Women’s Economic Ventures
  • 150,000 people in need of food each month, through the support of FOOD Share Inc.
  • 83 local Veterans navigating housing insecurity through the support of Gold Coast Veterans
  • Over 6,400 families coping with school closures by providing safe environments for learning, including providing lunches and additional support services through Safe Passage, local YMCAs and Boys & Girls Club

“Over the coming weeks, we have an opportunity to raise vital funds for our community members still facing urgent need,” said Bechtel, “Ventura County is a place of deep compassion with a desire to help our neighbors. Time and again, we have come together in incredible ways, and I know we can continue our efforts together.”

To support the Rapid Response Fund during this critical matching period, VCCF welcomes financial contributions from individuals, organizations, companies, and institutions. Donations can be made at

VCCF will not charge any administrative fees for this fund, 100% of donations will be awarded based on the criteria of the fund.


Established in 1987, the Ventura County Community Foundation builds philanthropy in the region by stewarding legacies through careful management of charitable capital. The foundation honors donor intent by protecting endowments. The nonprofit specializes in connecting philanthropic resources with community needs for the benefit of all. The organization also serves the community through scholarships, grant making, and collaborative partnerships. For more information, please visit


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The Amgen Foundation seeks to advance excellence in science education to inspire the next generation of innovators and invest in strengthening communities where Amgen staff members live and work. To date, the Foundation has donated more than $350 million in grants to local, regional and international nonprofit organizations that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways. The Amgen Foundation brings the excitement of discovery to the scientists of tomorrow through several signature programs, including Amgen Scholars, Amgen Biotech Experience and LabXchange. For more information, visit

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