The Power of Many

President & CEO Mark Stuart shares the charitable impact of Regional Affiliates. (From left: Carmen Richardson, Lisa Moctezuma, President & CEO Mark Stuart and Debra Discar-Espe. Photo courtesy of Edgardo Moctezuma.)
President & CEO Mark Stuart shares the charitable impact of Regional Affiliates. (From left: Carmen Richardson, Lisa Moctezuma, President & CEO Mark Stuart and Debra Discar-Espe. Photo courtesy of Edgardo Moctezuma.)

When I was in fourth grade, I had my first opportunity to head off to a one-week summer church camp on Higgins Lake in Michigan. If you haven’t vacationed there, you should.

For the longest time, I had dreamt of the opportunity to join older friends who reveled in stories about Camp Westminster. Each evening our activities concluded with vesper services. One evening we were told to bring four twigs with us. Once gathered, we were asked to see if we could break one twig into two pieces. That was fairly easy. Next, we were asked to take two twigs and break those in half together. A little more difficult but still everyone was able to do so. Finally, we were asked to pass the remaining twig to the camper at the end of our respective rows. That kid was asked to break a significant handful of twigs in half. Not a single camper could do so. The lesson: only when individuals come together can we face down significant challenges that seem like they can break us.

That 30+ year-old memory was reawakened recently when I attended the Chula Vista Charitable Foundation (CVCF) Grants Celebration at the home of Steve and Sandy Norton (who have one of the most incredible back yards in our region!).

This was a gathering of Chula Vistans who had banded together to make a difference for their community. They awarded two significant grants to Feeding San Diego—to address hunger and food insecurity in their city—and New GateWay Solutions—to help remedy the homelessness crisis in the South Bay. It was a moving experience to hear how these grants would be put to great use to better the lives of Chula Vistans.

So, after meeting the grantees as well as the dedicated CVCF board members and donors, I decided to add one more “twig” to their cause and joined as a Community Leader member. Five guests did so, too, including Chula Vista’s great mayor, Mary Salas—welcome aboard! Their passion for ensuring a better day for all residents was indeed infectious.

I am proud that The San Diego Foundation has a significant number of Regional Affiliates across our County.

If you are not a member, I hope you would join one. The more twigs we have, the more resilient we all become.

Become a member