April 2021 Letter from ECF Board Chair Jack Raymond

April 2021 Letter from ECF Board Chair Jack Raymond
The Escondido Community Foundation is committed to our community through the financial support of nonprofit organizations, projects and programs dedicated to improving the lives of those who live, work and play in Escondido.
Jack Raymond

Hello, Escondido!

Let me start with some great news. With the help of a grant from the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund and the gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, Escondido Community Foundation (ECF) is able to support the following organizations in COVID-19 recovery efforts:

  • Feeding San Diego: $30,000 for food drives supporting Escondido
  • Community Housing Works: $20,000 for rental assistance, groceries and one-on-one financial coaching for Escondido residents behind on their rent because of COVID-19 impact
  • Center for Community Solutions: $20,000 for childcare, transportation, food stability, etc.
  • Palomar Family Counseling: $20,000 for counseling for families, adults and children

Know that your Grants Committee is hard at work. Our 2021 grant focus addresses mental health and behavioral issues created by the pandemic. The focus is “Improving Social and Emotional Well-Being in the Community” and programs could address social isolation, anxiety, depression, suicide and abuse.

Your Grants Committee has been reviewing the proposals and will soon be conducting site visits. A special thank you to the Grants Committee and committee chair Emily Lowe. We look forward to sharing more information about potential grantees at the end of June.

Jack Port

I’m sad to report that we recently lost one of our founding members.

Jack Port was a part of the first organizational meetings that created ECF. He was a long-time community leader, and over the past 20 years became well-known for sharing his experiences about landing on Utah Beach in Normandy during the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. Jack returned for D-Day celebrations for over 20 years. We want to recognize him for his service to our country, our community and to ECF.

Thank you for all that you do for and in our community. Your participation truly defines our real “hometown”!

Your commitment to preserving and protecting the future of our community through your donations to our Community Foundation is making Escondido a better place to live, work and play.

Please know how much your generosity is appreciated.

Jack Raymond, Board Chair
Escondido Community Foundation

Member Spotlight: Rachel Currington

Rachel Currington

Born and bred in the UK, Rachel Currington and her husband moved to North County San Diego in 2001. In 2018, she moved her Edward Jones branch office to Escondido and quickly learned that it’s the hidden gem of North County.

She soon heard about the Escondido Community Foundation and following an invitation to an event, decided to join as a member and eventually become involved as a volunteer at the Board and Membership Committee level.

“That every dollar donated by ECF members goes directly to projects in Escondido is a wonderful mission, and one I’m honored and proud to help promote that as Membership Chair,” said Rachel.

“As we move past COVID-19 and re-emerge into our community, I’m excited to be working on projects that will once again unite us, in a city I’m proud to call my own,” she added.

Grantee Spotlight: San Diego Oasis

San Diego Oasis

Thanks to the generous support of ECF and its members, the San Diego Oasis Literacy Tutoring Program is helping at-risk, low-income elementary school students improve their reading levels and self-esteem by pairing them with older adults who provide tutoring and friendship.

Called the ‘Grandparent Effect’, the tutor and the student work together for an entire school year, once a week for one hour, working on reading skills and comprehension. 

This evidence-based program provides purpose for older adults and hope for students. Currently conducting virtual tutoring, Oasis is continuing to engage students so they don’t fall behind. Oasis also identified the need to provide brand new, free books for students to take home to encourage their love of reading and emphasize practice. 

Thanks to a grant received from ECF, Oasis staff and volunteers distributed over 5,000 books in 2020 to young students in Escondido who were at home with little access to schools or libraries. One school created a virtual “Free Book Fair” with pictures of each book for students to order and pick up. 

“We are proud to say that we can show students that we care by providing dedicated, individual attention from older adult tutors to students who need help with their reading and by providing free books to take home,” said Simona Valanciute, President and CEO at San Diego Oasis.  “There is more need than we can provide, but thanks to organizations like the Escondido Community Foundation, Oasis is able to impact the futures of young students who need a little help to succeed.”  

For more information or to become a tutor, call 619-881-6262 or go to https://san-diego.oasisnet.org/tutoring.