Ventura County Rapid Response Fund (COVID-19) Receives Additional $400,000 from Amgen Foundation

 In Blog

Camarillo, CA – The Special Oversight Committee for the Ventura County Rapid Response Fund had just awarded the remaining $391,000 of the fund to local nonprofits providing essential support services when Vanessa Bechtel, President & CEO of the Ventura County Community Foundation, received a special call. Jessica Halloran, with Amgen Corporate Philanthropy, shared the amazing news that the Amgen Foundation was contributing another $400,000 to their already generous support to the COVID-19 relief effort. 

“We’ve been witnessing unprecedented demand for support – millions of dollars in local need – and it was extremely difficult to narrow down the last of our COVID-19 grantmaking funds,” shared Geoff Dean, Co-Chair of the Special Oversight Committee. “The timing of this essential support by the Amgen Foundation could not have been better.”

As a critical partner in the launch of the Ventura County Rapid Response Fund, the Amgen Foundation has been there propelling this vital community-wide effort since the very beginning. This collaborative effort at the Ventura County Community Foundation also includes the County of Ventura, Aera Energy, Southeast Ventura County YMCA, Give An Hour, and the Economic Development Collaborative. 

VCCF’s Ventura County Rapid Response Fund makes financial support available to those organizations experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, and to enable these organizations to maintain and increase services.

While public health officials are working diligently to prepare for and respond to COVID-19, VCCF’s Ventura County Rapid Response Fund was established to financially support nonprofit organizations addressing the needs of individuals and families with food and housing support, childcare, wage replacement, mental health and more. The Fund enables these organizations to remain open and expand as the demand for their services increases. Hundreds of Ventura County families have been provided direct cash assistance, with thousands receiving additional essential support, such as food for families, access to mental health services, childcare, and critical housing and rental assistance. Support for small business owners has also been made available through the Women’s Economic Venture and the Economic Development Collaborative.

“As the challenges associated with COVID-19 continue to evolve, we are committed to supporting our neighbors, colleagues, friends and communities,” said Eduardo Cetlin, President of the Amgen Foundation. “Thank you to the Ventura County Community Foundation for initiating this Rapid Response Fund, which will be critical as Ventura County’s nonprofit organizations work to address the needs of those impacted by the virus.”

“Certainly, over the past two months our community has been facing intense challenges,” said Scott Hansen, VCCF Board Chair. “Amgen’s incredible and immediate generosity has served to also inspire communitywide generosity, with thousands stepping forward to help their neighbors during this difficult time.”

Our goal is to do everything possible to raise the millions in funding needed to serve local individuals and families, and we deeply appreciate the outpouring of support by our partners and fellow community members,” said Bechtel, “There is still so much to be done. Ventura County is a resilient and generous community, and we will get through this together!”

To support the Ventura County Rapid Response Fund, VCCF welcomes financial contributions from individuals, organizations, companies, and institutions. Donations can be made at

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

For more information, visit or contact Vanessa Bechtel at 805-330-6676 or


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, grantmaking, and collaborative partnerships. For more information, please visit

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