Today, I would like to address our donor partners and supporters throughout the United States and express an enormous amount of gratitude and appreciation. This is indeed #GivingTuesday, the first to occur in the month of May. Normally we would be scrambling resources to raise funds. But I don’t want to do that today. Instead, I want to share with you how amazing you are.
Late last week, Foundation volunteers picked up calls from local residents in need. We were prepared to tell them that this was the last time we would be able to assist with providing hot meals and groceries to them and their children. As you know, we pivoted operations in March to meet the needs of vulnerable populations effected by COVID-19. We found ourselves at the forefront of the pandemic mustering all the resources we could find to ensure no one who reaches out to us for help goes hungry. Grocery stores were being overrun and many of you communicated to us that you were worried you would not be able to provide for your families. Whether it was because you were too afraid to go out, were a first-responder who needed to be at work, or you were not eligible for unemployment benefits, we were a beacon of hope for you and your family.
We immediately put the word out to our media contacts that the tables had turned and we were now in need. Not only did our donor community answer, but they answered loudly and strongly.
I am pleased to announce that today we accepted a grant in the amount of $5000 from San Diego based, Sempra Energy Foundation to keep our hot meal distribution and food pantry open. I am also pleased to inform you we received a matching contribution from Founder & President of Transitional Work Solutions, Dyna Snyder in the amount of $5000 to assist with our organizations operational budget. I also want to thank ordinary Ontario residents who, in less than 24 hours, contributed perishable items and more than $800 to ensure no Ontario resident goes hungry while stay-at-home orders are in effect. I want to thank the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and Spectrum News 1 for their coverage of our efforts. And lastly, I want to thank line personnel from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department who also got the word out and showed up in force with canned goods for those in need.
While cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Trenton are getting the attention of the Breaking News cycle, cities like Ontario had already been checking off the boxes for plans that others cities would like to execute. This is a testament to the spirit of our supporters and community at large. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, discussions with non-profits were taking place and, only days after, plans were put into motion. Our cities elderly had places to go for food, furloughed and unemployed workers were receiving groceries, and local businesses and religious centers were reaching out to simply ask, “Where can I help?”
Equally inspiring are the small communities like Creekside who, with guidance from their HOA Boards, illuminated their walkways and community entrances with blue lights to show support for front-line workers; Residents whose newfound hobby was to create mask, donated them to our most vulnerable populations without expecting anything in return; And members of the city government quickly reached out to local non-profits like the Lampkin Foundation to see how resources can be best shared to ensure we make it through this together.
On a broader spectrum, the Foundation has not let up on projects like our 2020 Census outreach effort and projects to support victims of the 2018 Woolsey Fire in Augora Hills. We continue to get the word out about the importance of the Census through our food distribution program, virtual communications, and social media. We even launched a commercial to remind the nation to fill out the Census before getting a knock at the door.
Efforts to rebuild Seminol Springs through our partnership with the Los Angeles Regional Community Recovery Organization have not faltered. Resources and supplies continue to be provided to survivors of the Woolsey fire and we remain committed to helping where we can through our Disaster Relief Effort.
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that this Foundation can withstand the challenges presented to the communities we serve. While other “big box” organizations shuttered their doors, we rose to the occasion and stuck to our promise to make our community stronger and more resilient. We did not abandon our mission – and the donations we received over the last 4 days are a confirmation of our strong desire to be here when you need us most.
Thank you for your continued prayers, generosity, and for making this #GivingTuesday the most memorable thus far.