Ventura County Community Foundation celebrates volunteers, nonprofit partners for work during pandemic

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Ventura County Community Foundation celebrated on June 20 the hard work and consistent efforts of more than a hundred active volunteers and dozens of nonprofit organizations working in partnership with the county of Ventura on vaccine outreach and education in our community.

We specifically want to thank the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley, Buen Vecino, Child Development Resources, Conejo Free Clinic, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Faith Mission Christian Fellowship, Food Share, LUCHA, Inlakech, Nyeland Promise, Oxnard Alano Club, Oxnard Performing Arts Center Corporation, Poder Popular, Proyecto Esperanza and Our Lady Guadalupe Church, Revive Community Church, Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce, Ventura County Taxpayers Association, Vista Real Charter High School, and Westminster Free Clinic for their innovative and lifesaving service.

As I reviewed the final report by Dr. Gabino Aguirre, VCCF’s strategic consultant for this initiative, I was deeply moved by the results of our collective undertaking. When analyzing the data, based on the calculation in the Washington Post, approximately 300 lives were saved, meaning just under 3,000 family members are not grieving the loss of a loved one due to COVID-19 right now.

Activities ranged from distributing information in food boxes by Food Share and its 150 partner agencies, to hosting vaccine clinics and engaging with residents door-to-door. Westminster Free Clinic reached close to 23,000 individuals through their outreach efforts, with Poder Popular having tremendous success thanks to the leadership of 26 promotores and 60 volunteers.

In this most recent round of funding, our local nonprofits connected with 55,122 families, serving 150,119 residents of Ventura County. I invite you to enjoy Vacunate Rap featuring Jade, a local rapper, and hope you will join me in a moment of gratitude to Dr. Robert Levin, Dr. John Fankhauser, Rigoberto Vargas, and so many of the tremendous leaders with the county of Ventura for making this effort possible.

I also want to thank Dr. Gabino Aguirre, Jeff Lambert, and Nathan Hickling for their consistent efforts in keeping the group connected and facilitating partnerships and collaboration.

— Vanessa Bechtel is the Ventura County Community Foundation president and chief executive officer.


This was originally published in the Santa Paula Times.

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