On April 29, 2023, D’Andre Lampkin delivered a message to donors who attended the Community Resilience Gala as follows:
8:14 P.M. PST
D’ANDRE LAMPKIN: It is with great pride and a full heart that I stand before you today to talk about the immense resilience, strength, and engagement that our Foundation has shown in its first 5 years of existence.
Life is full of unforeseen challenges and difficulties. From natural disasters to economic downturns, and political unrest to social upheavals, we have all experienced times when we have had to dig deep to find the resources and support we need to weather the storm. But what has consistently impressed me about our community is our ability to band together, support one another, and come out stronger on the other side.
In discussing community resilience, what we are really talking about is this ability to bounce back from adversity. And, time and again, we have shown ourselves to be a community that rises to the occasion. Whether it is through the heroic actions of our first responders during times of crisis – some of our first responders are joining us today. I don’t know if they want to be identified but they are in the audience (Applause.)
— Or the generosity and compassion of our friends and neighbors during times of need – and Lord knows I would not have been able to do this without some of my neighbors who are right here in the front row. Let’s give them a round of applause as well (Applause.)
— We have proven ourselves to be a community that is tough, resilient, and always ready to help one another.
But resilience alone is not enough. We also need community engagement, which is the active participation of community members in the decisions and actions that shape our community. This means listening to each other, sharing our ideas, and working collaboratively to find solutions to the issues that affect us all. When we engage with our community in this way, we create a sense of ownership and responsibility that strengthens our bonds and makes us more invested in the success of our community.
In the first 5 years we have:
Narrowed our mission statement down to reflect the timeless need for civic engagement, and opened our headquarters office right here in Ontario, California. Which now consists of 4800 square feet of community workspace. (Applause.)
Hired our first employee, Andrew Gerardo, who has now been with us for close to 3 years. (Applause.)
Andrew, please come forward and be acknowledged (Applause.)
Sustain a food pantry for 3 years thanks to the help of sponsorship from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Rally volunteers to contribute over 43,000 volunteer hours throughout the nation
Supported over 3900 families through our DNA Initiative and Food Pantry
Provide 17 University Scholarships to students who are already living their life in a way that reflects our organization’s mission
And respond to 6 Natural Disasters, including the Los Angeles area Woosley Fire where we rebuilt over 50 dwelling units in 3 years’ time. And the Francis incident right here in Ontario. Together we gave residents hope, addressed short term and immediate needs, and established a COAD to provide a wholistic approach to helping residents who didn’t know where to turn following the fireworks explosion. (Applause.)
Thanks to the efforts of the Foundation’s donors and volunteers, we are making communities stronger, resilient, and self-reliant; where all stakeholders are resolving major issues in their community through grassroots ingenuity and a volunteer spirit.
Let me be even more clear by saying community resilience is not just about reacting to crises. It is also about being proactive and building up our strength and preparedness in anticipation of future challenges. This is where community engagement comes in. By working together, collaborating, and building strong networks of support and communication, we can prepare ourselves to face whatever comes our way. When we engage with one another, we build trust, understanding, and a shared sense of purpose that can carry us through even the toughest times.
Finally, community strength is about recognizing and celebrating the unique qualities and contributions that make our community special. We are a diverse and vibrant community, full of talented and hardworking individuals who are dedicated to building a better world. It is through our diversity, our collective wisdom, and our common goals that we find the strength to keep moving forward, creating new opportunities, and overcoming the challenges that come our way. So, my call to action for you today is simple: let us continue to build on our resilience, let us engage with one another in meaningful ways, and let us celebrate and harness our strength. Together, there is nothing that we cannot achieve.
Thank you. (Applause.)