July 2021 Letter from OCF Board Chair Vince Alessi

The Oceanside 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 Oceanside.
The Oceanside 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 Oceanside.

Happy Summer, Oceanside Community Foundation (OCF) members and friends!

Every July, we begin a new grant cycle. Last year was yet another impactful year for OCF with over $80,000 in grants made for initiatives fostering inclusion among Oceanside students, and another $15,000 for COVID-19 relief and recovery programs. You can read more about the grantees who received this funding here.

I hope you feel proud to be part of the OCF family. Thanks again for all your support, especially during such a critical time in our community.

We will be sending our grant focus survey for next year’s grant cycle sometime in August, so please keep an eye out for that email. You’ll be able to vote on the grant focus and direction of dollars for the upcoming year. It is the basis of the grant cycle and what the committee uses to write the request for proposals from the community. When filling out the survey you will also be given an opportunity to express your interest in joining the Grants Committee. I highly recommend this if you are able. The committee meets once a month, seven to eight times out of the year. One can really get to know Oceanside and the non-profits serving the community in ways never imagined. It is a highly rewarding process. 

This blog features our newest Board Member, Kathie Chan, and one of our Grantees, Voices for Children. If everything continues as planned, we hope to see you at an in-person event sometime in the Fall. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this reading!

Member Spotlight: Kathie Chan

Kathie Chan

Kathie Chan began volunteering at a young age by joining her parents at service projects for the many local community organizations they supported. She credits this involvement in providing the framework for her career in a profession that helps others.

Over the span of her 60-year career as an RN Manager, volunteering has played a crucial role in the companies Kathie worked for. She has been involved in many Oceanside organizations, her favorites being those with the objectives of assisting women, children, and people with developmental disabilities.

In 2009, when OCF was founded, Kathie and her husband, Charlie, became charter members. Kathie was involved for several fulfilling years with the Grants Committee and is now looking forward to continuing her service on the OCF Board.

“I hope that by joining the OCF Board, I will continue to serve the Oceanside community and help causes and families in-need of support,” says Kathie.

We are excited to welcome Kathie Chan to our Board of Directors for the coming year and appreciate her dedication to our organization!

Grantee Spotlight: Voices for Children

Voices for Children

The Oceanside Community Foundation made all the difference for children in foster care with its generous grant in support of the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program. The CASA program matches community volunteers with a child in foster care. The support from OCF enabled Voices for Children to recruit, train and match 15 new CASA volunteers with a child in Oceanside and to monitor the cases of another 120 children. 

This support came at a critical time. As the pandemic unfolded, children were no longer able to see people outside of their immediate home placement. It was a year of isolation for many children in foster care in Oceanside and elsewhere. This gift, however, ensured that children had a consistent adult presence – a CASA – in their life during this scary time. CASAs and children develop a personal relationship, which helps the CASA to advocate on the child’s behalf to the court, resulting in better outcomes for each child served.

Recently, Voices for Children spoke with one of our CASAs to learn more about his experience during the pandemic. CASA Peter says, “The biggest challenge has been maintaining the relationship with my case child. As an older teen, building the connection and trust did not happen quickly nor easily.”

Through this difficult year, CASAs like Peter have made extraordinary efforts to help youth feel a sense of connection. Because of those relationships, CASAs have been sources of comfort and consistency and have been in positions to recognize and respond to children’s needs when they arose. They have gone beyond the expectations of their role to support children.

From the team at Voices for Children: “Thank you, Oceanside Community Foundation, for your incredible support of our program during an unpredictable time. We would not have been able to recruit, train, match and support volunteer CASAs without you. Thank you!”