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Ford Fund Awards $75,000 to VCCF To Help With Disaster Relief from Thomas Fire
Two local organizations to be recipients of funds to aid long-term Thomas Fire recovery efforts
"The mission of Ford Motor Company Fund is to strengthen communities and make people's lives better," said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. "When wildfires or other disasters strike, Ford and other good neighbors step up and respond to help communities recover and rebuild."
The Ford Motor Company Fund selected Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County to receive $50,000 for repairing and rebuilding disaster-damaged homes in the area. "Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County appreciates the Ford Fund's support for rebuilding efforts. As a nonprofit organization which has built 70 homes in Ventura County and repaired hundreds more, Habitat stands ready to support Ventura County residents with housing needs following the Thomas Fire," said Steve Dwyer, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County.
The remaining funds, $25,000 will be awarded to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Ventura for a teen leadership program that will focus on disaster relief efforts and leadership opportunities, giving the teens training in volunteering and how to be involved in the community. "The Thomas Fire has had both devastating and unifying effects for our community. Although the families that we serve were affected by the fire, there was a greater effect on the community members who regularly give financial support to charities like ours. We were so grateful the Ford Fund reached out to us and asked how they could assist not only our organization, but to also give relief to our community," said Patricia Birmingham, Ventura Boys & Girls Club CEO.
VCCF CEO Vanessa Bechtel said, "We are thrilled by the Ford Motor Company Fund's incredible support to our community during this recovery period. We appreciate Ford's commitment to the post-disaster rebuilding efforts and vision for supporting teen leadership skills."
Since the December 4 start of the Thomas Fire, VCCF has secured more than $1.7 million in contributions for support of relief and recovery efforts and has made grants totaling $1.5 million to nonprofit organizations engaged in front-line relief efforts. Currently, VCCF holds approximately $1 million dedicated for mid- to long-term relief strategies in its Community Disaster Fund.
VCCF invests the charitable capital that drives the philanthropic engines of Ventura County. The foundation was established in 1987 and endeavors to build philanthropy in the region and to give generously for the well-being of all in Ventura County. VCCF invests in the future through scholarships, grant making and collaborative partnerships. For more information or to donate, visit www.vccf.org.
About the Ford Motor Company Fund
"Since we began our operations in 1949, we have invested nearly $1.5 billion in civic organizations around the world to help drive a brighter future. We focus our efforts on three key areas:
"Community Life programs range from hunger relief to health care to support of cultural activities. Many of these programs are done in partnership with local Ford dealers using an innovative approach we call Operation Better World.
"We also invest about one third of our funds in support of education, including scholarships that help deserving students attain higher education and programs that help schools offer students new approaches to learning.
"Our international, award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life program is the cornerstone of our safety efforts."