Happy New Year Everybody!

I want to thank Ken Lounsbery for his incredible leadership over the past 18 months.  He leaves big shoes to fill. However, I am excited and honored to take the reins and continue to help facilitate the incredible work of our ECF members. It is important to acknowledge our entire board and the extra efforts of those leading our committees this year. Rita Bowcock, Donna Aeling and Susan Greenstein lead our events committee.  Rick Paul is our current grant chair; Rosemary Burson leads our Impact committee, following our grantees to ensure that the funds granted are used correctly with the most impact. Rosemary will follow Rick as our Grant Chair. Rachel Currington is our membership chair and will be unveiling a special membership program during the month of February. Leading our Special Projects committee is Lisa Ruder.  Lisa has done absolutely amazing work. Having been the project manager for the construction of the Arch donated to the City by ECF, she is now leading the additional beautification projects which includes the ongoing mural project and our partnership with the City of Escondido. If you would like to help and participate on ANY of these committees let me know or contact Trudy Armstrong at trudy@sdfoundation.org. We would love to have you participate!

This year,  your grants will fund programs that help vulnerable youth, in grades 6th through 12th. Although the pandemic has waned and schools have reopened, we are concerned that life is not back to normal for the vulnerable population of unengaged youth. Some have become isolated and withdrawn. If they do not find a positive path, we worry these young people will be drawn into gangs, drug abuse, sex trafficking or experience some form of mental illness.

A big THANK YOU to those who made the extra gift to support this special program through the Escondido Police Department. Your additional Secret Santa donations helped those in extreme need over the holidays.

There is still the opportunity to purchase a name plaque on the Giving Arch. This revenue will go directly into our Special Projects Funds for either city beautification or unknown emerging needs. Your choice. Don’t be left off. Contact Trudy Armstrong trudy@sdfoundation.org or 619 764 8602 for more information

THANK YOU for all you do for, and in, our community. Your commitment to preserving 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.

Jan Jones
Escondido Community Foundation

ECF Member Spotlight: Jean Loo-Russo

Jean Loo-Russo

Twenty years ago, Jean and her husband, John Russo, moved to Escondido to raise their children in a culturally diverse North San Diego County community. It was here, in Escondido, that Jean established her career in the nonprofit world. Initially through the Escondido Humane Society by volunteering, serving on the board of directors, and finally as their Director of Philanthropy. Several years after Escondido Humane Society merged with the San Diego Humane Society, Jean transitioned her career to The Elizabeth Hospice as their Chief Philanthropy Officer. She continues to work in this capacity today.

“Joining Escondido Community Foundation was important to me because it is a way to build a strong community with a vibrant future for generations. It’s inspiring to be with others who care so deeply for their community. Together, through pooled philanthropy, we can significantly impact programs and services that enrich the lives of all people in Escondido.”

Grantee Spotlight: Alabaster Jar

Alabaster Jar

Support from Escondido Community Foundation has allowed Alabaster Jar Project to continue to provide excellent mental health and emotional support for local survivors of trafficking, one of the most vulnerable populations here in Escondido. We are so grateful for this support and generous grant.

With the help from Escondido Community Foundation, Alabaster Jar Project has been able to continue to provide programming through The Drop In Resource Center. The Resource Center has helped increase emotional intelligence, support, and has diminished depression and suicide in the lives of survivors of trafficking living in Escondido. As we have modified our program to include in-person groups, as safely as we can, we have also diminished isolation for 100 survivors during the funding cycle, roughly 20-40 more individuals than we initially had expected to serve.

Without funding from Escondido Community Foundation, Alabaster Jar Project would not have been able to provide the quality and quantity of mental health care that we provided this year. From the surveys we have taken from program participants this year, we have collected the following data:

  1. Survivors who attend programming at the Resource Center on a weekly basis can increase their self-esteem by 20%.
  2. Survivors who attend programming at the Resource Center on a weekly basis can increase their emotional intelligence by 30%.
  3. Without the programming we offer, survivors’ emotional support decreases by 30%, though some reported a 60% decrease in emotional support without programming received at the Resource Center.
  4. 100% of survivors interviewed, who attend programming at the Resource Center on a weekly basis, have reported that doing so helps them abstain from sexual exploitation or unhealthy lifestyle choices that led them to sexual exploitation.
  5. 100% of participants who attend programming at the Resource Center on a weekly basis reported that they look forward to it every week.

Alabaster Jar Project is a Community Project which takes many helping hands. It cannot have an impact on the lives of trafficking survivors on its own – it needs your help. Thank you to the people who make Escondido Community Foundation grants possible. You have truly made a difference.