In 2018, Guy Clum made an investment in early childhood education and well-being that continues to make an impact today in our region.

In addition to investing a transformative $10 million gift that launched the Early Childhood Initiative at San Diego Foundation (SDF), he also made over $3 million in multi-year grants to expand access to care for children furthest from opportunity in our region.

Five years later, those grants have concluded. The following stories illustrate the impact of this investment.

Helping a Family Find a Home.

A San Diego mother suddenly found herself in a daunting situation. After recently signing a year-long lease, her landlord had sprung the news that the property was up for sale, sending ripples of uncertainty through her and her family.

She had to move her family. Where would they live? How was this fair?

Overwhelmed by a looming deadline to find a new home, she reached out to Education Enrichment Systems (EES), a nonprofit that focuses on strengthening families and creating opportunities for children through early education.

An EES Family Liaison gave them the one thing they needed: hope in a moment of crisis.

With CSA of San Diego County’s guidance and the EES Family Liaison by her side, the mother gained a clear understanding of her rights as a tenant and the legal obligations of the new landlord. She was empowered to take control of her situation.

But the services didn’t end there.

The EES Family Liaison committed to finding a new home for the family and ensuring every option was explored. Balancing work and house-hunting, the mother leaned on EES to schedule apartment visits.

With the support of EES and CSA, the mother received approval for a new apartment, marking the start of a new chapter for her family.

Helping Foster Children Heal.

Exposed to drug and alcohol abuse, physical abuse and neglect, Carlitos found himself with his third set of foster parents.

Separated from his biological parents and siblings, the young boy was withdrawn and isolated upon his arrival at the SBCS Mi Escuelita Therapeutic Preschool.

When he did communicate, it was with aggression. He burst into temper tantrums without warning and had difficulty expressing himself.

But Carlitos was finally in the right place.

Mi Escuelita Preschool Graduation

Mi Escuelita is a one-of-a-kind preschool designed to help break the cycle of violence for children affected by domestic violence and abuse. SBCS provides free enrollment, bilingual staff, full-time therapists, transportation assistance, mental health services and more.

“While we can never erase what our children have experienced in their short lives, we can provide Mi Escuelita,” shared SBCS President & CEO Kathryn Lembo. “Together, we are providing a safe place to move through the pain, to reteach them how to love and to get the right start for school. It’s healing and hope for the whole family.”

A few months after his enrollment, Carlitos’ anxieties lessened. He started verbalizing his feelings when he was upset. And when he was withdrawn, he started sharing what he needed. He became a great helper in the classroom and friend to his peers. His foster mom also shared that his behavior at home has improved, as she has noticed a decrease in outbursts and tantrums.

Helping Working Parents Work.

Access to quality, affordable childcare is a challenge for working families in San Diego.

SAY San Diego knows that employers have a special role to play in addressing this crisis and that workforce and childcare are two vital components of a thriving region.

That’s why SAY is pushing work-based childcare.

SAY San Diego Work-based Childcare Model

This new model refers to childcare on (or sometimes very near) an employer’s premises. Centers are sometimes operated by the employer but are more often run by third party providers.

SAY launched its on-site childcare center in 2019 and has seen benefits in recruiting, employee retention, employee productivity, workplace diversity and brand building. The center is open to employees and the community at large.

“The Early Childhood Center makes me feel really cozy… We can definitely tell that he’s learning real-life skills here,” said Chantel, parent of a 2-year-old at SAY’s Early Childhood Center.

SAY’s leadership now helps other employers design, create and operate high-quality, on-site childcare centers to meet staff needs while attaining organizational goals.

“Having successfully navigated the challenges and now seeing the successes, SAY San Diego’s team is well positioned and excited to be a powerful and valuable partner for employers considering on-site care,” shared Jane Drover, Chief Financial Officer at SAY. “We want to share our knowledge.”

A Planned Gift, A Lasting Legacy

The EES Family Liaison who helps parents experiencing a crisis find a home. The Mi Escuelita Preschool that helps children heal. The SAY San Diego work-based childcare model for its staff.

These programs – and dedicated nonprofit workers – help transform lives for San Diego children and families who need help the most.

And they all have one other thing in common: They were among the first programs to receive funding through the SDF Early Childhood Initiative, made possible by the generosity and legacy of Guy Clum.

Guy Clum

Guy lived his life in Bonita, made a fortune as a serial entrepreneur, and then, near the end of his life, decided to share a large measure of that treasure to make a real difference in San Diego.

Before he passed away in 2018, Guy came to SDF with a gift and a vision. He wanted his $10 million legacy gift to go for the betterment of our youngest community members – those from 0 to 5 years of age – and their families. This enabled the launch of the Early Childhood Initiative, which has stewarded that vision, ensuring long-term community impact.

“A child’s early years are the foundation for his or her future development,” Guy believed. “By strengthening the systems and opportunities that our children are afforded, my hope is that we can put every San Diegan on a pathway to success and grow a more vibrant region for all.”

Like many donors who make a legacy gift to SDF, Guy partnered with the SDF team to specify a strategy and develop a long-term investment plan to ensure his vision was realized.

“It’s always an honor to collaborate with our donor community,” said Katie Rast, SDF Director, Community Impact. “Guy had an inspiring vision for our region, and I’m grateful the Early Childhood Initiative has brought that vision to life.”

Through the initiative, SDF has raised additional funds to complement Guy’s original investment, totaling more than $9 million in grants to the community over the past five years to uplift children, families and childcare providers. This has resulted in support for over 28,000 young children through nonprofit programs like those from EES, SAY and SBCS.

Gifts like Guy’s prove that giving back can last a lifetime and beyond. A legacy fund of any size can provide lasting benefits for you, your family and the causes and charities you care about most.

If you are considering ways to make an impact through a legacy fund, submit the form below to download our Guide to Building Your Charitable Legacy or contact our Donor Services team today.

Download the Charitable Legacy Guide

This valuable resource will help you understand how to set up a legacy fund and the lasting impact planned gifts can have for you, your family and your community.

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