ECF Board Chair Jacquie Skay

Happy New Year to All. Work has started on the Giving Arch!  Watch for an announcement of a special Celebration Event in March.

Once again, the Escondido Community Foundation “Secret Santa” project helped the Escondido Police Department (EPD) give $100 Bills to those in need with one request: that EPD officers hand out the cash to those down on their luck in an effort to help make the season brighter. ECF has recruited officers as “elves” because they regularly come into contact with the public, many times with residents who have fallen on hard times or who have experienced tragedy. The Secret Santa program also helps our police department forge positive interactions with our community. Officers approached those residents, explained the Secret Santa program, and handed them the money, much to the surprise and delight of the recipients. The stories the officers share are heartwarming and heartbreaking. We look forward to sharing more with you at our next gathering. 

Escondido Giving Arch
ECF Board Chair Jacquie Skay shares an update with ECF members, including exciting news about the Escondido Giving Arch.

Most importantly, our dedicated Grants Committee, led by Cathy O’Malley, is currently reviewing 32 nonprofit Letters of Intent for consideration for this years grant cycle.  

This year we are seeking to support organizations that will improve the quality of life in Escondido through environmental education and action. People of all ages and abilities can play an important role as stewards of the environment. The committee is hoping to cultivate and train future generations of environmental leaders and stewards, and to engage the community in habitat conservation, restoration and ecology. 

The Membership Committee has been reaching out to connect with members on how they prefer to have their names displayed, all the while, connecting community leaders to your foundation. 

We would love to have you participate on a committee if you would like to do so.  Please contact me or Trudy at to become more involved. 

Your commitment to preseving and protecting the future of our community through you donations to our community foundation is making Escondido a better place to live, work and play. Please know how much your generosity is appreciated. 

Grantee Spotlight 

Escondido History Center

The Escondido History Center (EHC), a nonprofit organization, was originally formed in 1956 as the Historical Society. The grassroots community organization’s goal was to collect photographs, artifacts and documents. In 1971, the city’s first public library was relocated to Grape Day Park where it became the first component of its museum complex.  

Escondido History Center

Over the years, additional buildings and structures were added to the museum: a Victorian Country Home, the Penner Barn, Bandy Blacksmith Shop, Santa Fe Depot and Pullman Railroad Car. The Escondido History Center has a small staff and many volunteers that work together to provide Escondido with a variety of services.  

Education is at the heart of everything it does. EHC tells Escondido’s stories through  large collections of photographs, artifact and documents. It helps people understand the community and form a deeper connection to it. The museum in Grape Day Park is visited by thousands of students, residents and tourists each year. 

Escondido History Center

EHC used its grant from ECF to refurbish the inside of the Victorian Country Home which occupies a prominent position in Grape Day Park. The Victorian House is an interpretive center that illustrates how people lived at the turn of the 20th century in Escondido. Visitors learn how families went about daily tasks without the advantage of running water, electricity and gas. Docents discuss how food was prepared, laundry cleaned, and how families entertained themselves without the modern conveniences we enjoy today. Since the Victorian was placed in the park in 1980, thousands of our guests, including school children, have had the opportunity to travel through time by visiting this historic house. 

ECF also painted all of the wooden surfaces (floors, wood trim etc.), ceilings and the entire kitchen. Damaged and faded wallpaper was replaced in the parlor and the dining room. Worn carpet was replaced, curtains were cleaned and blinds repaired.

Get involved with ECF