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Thyme Together Food Truck

"We're providing a mobile Senior Center."

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Rancho Santa Fe Foundation is funding an innovative program to provide food security and socialization for vulnerable seniors in three North San Diego County communities. The Thyme Together food truck serves nutritious lunches to seniors five days each week (except holidays) at four mobile home parks and one faith center in San Marcos, Oceanside and Vista.

“We’re providing a mobile senior center,” said Paula Powers, RSF Foundation Grants and Projects Committee Chair. “Our research told us that a lack of adequate transportation would be an obstacle to seniors traveling to a central location for food and socialization, so we’re bringing those necessities to them.”

 

This highly collaborative North County Senior Connections program brings together Dreams for Change to provide the food truck and meals; Interfaith Community Services to coordinate the program and provide educational and entertaining activities; ProduceGood to train volunteers; and the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank to provide free fresh produce for the seniors to take home.

“I am honored to work with the board and staff of the RSF Foundation to provide such an impactful program to meet the needs of the aging population in our neighboring communities,” said Powers. “We invite local community members to join us in providing food security and socialization for these vulnerable seniors.”

Wreaths Across America

"The support of Rancho Santa Fe Foundation has been very helpful; it’s more than any corporation locally."

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In December every year, communities across the nation come together to honor and remember our veterans at the Wreaths Across America ceremony by laying wreaths on the gravesites at national cemeteries. For over 25 years this has been a national tradition, and in San Diego the 2015 event marked the 10-year anniversary.

The community support was tremendous. Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, a community foundation in North County San Diego, was honored to support the Wreaths Across America ceremonies in San Diego on December 12th, 2015. Over 8,600 wreaths were laid on gravesites at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and Miramar National Cemetery, and 1,033 of those wreaths were provided by The Patriots Connection to remember and honor those who have served.

The Patriots Connection, a program of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, invited donors to make a contribution to purchase a wreath and then matched each donation with a second wreath. In addition, donors to The Patriots Connection provided funding for several buses to provide transportation for volunteers to the ceremony and wreath-laying at Fort Rosecrans. The donor and volunteer support for this event exemplifies the community-building that the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation promotes as a community foundation.

This year, more people than ever before gathered in San Diego to honor the fallen during the Wreaths Across America ceremony. “It’s not just a veteran, it’s a family who gave up the comfort of having that person around,” says Tim Campion from Wreaths Across America San Diego, and a veteran himself.

Tim has seen the impact a ceremonial wreath makes on a family with loved ones who have sacrificed their lives. “When families come out during the holidays and see a wreath on the grave, they know the community was involved in honoring their family member.”  The community of volunteers is large and made up of people from all walks of life, including young children, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, college students and World War II veterans. The community truly comes together to honor the fallen and remember their sacrifice.

Rancho Santa Fe Foundation is honored to play a part in helping the community come together for this meaningful tradition. “The support of Rancho Santa Fe Foundation has been very helpful; it’s more than any corporation locally,” says Tim.

Honoring and remembering veterans is a high priority at our community foundation. The Patriots Connection, an important program of Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, seeks to expand the capacity of San Diego nonprofits to serve active duty military and veterans.

If you would like to be a part of Wreaths Across America, on January 16th, 2016, the Wreath Cleanup will take place and volunteers are welcome. You can also save the date for next year: on December 17th, 2016, Wreaths Across America will hold its annual ceremony again in San Diego and across the United States in honor of our veterans.

The Tomorrow Project

"I love my job and I feel successful here, for the first time in a long time. I'm established enough now that I'm filing a tax return for the first time in my life!"

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As a result of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation grant, The Tomorrow Project employed extra help so that the Production Manager could engage a future employer to discover the value of The Tomorrow Project trainees and prepare the women to be work-ready, specifically for the fast food industry. Their partner employer is Firehouse Subs in Point Loma.

One year later, the Firehouse Subs owner, Charlie Glanding, reported: “ I‘ve had the pleasure of working with two associates from The Tomorrow Project, Bernice and Gabby, who have been a part of the Firehouse Subs crew since opened for business on December 29, 2012. They continue to be an asset to our team and have largely contributed to our growth and success. They happily welcome each guest as they enter the restaurant and are a huge help with opening and closing the restaurant each day. I believe the two of them also play an important role in the stability of our employee retention rate. Their engaging personalities and impressive work ethic is contagious among other crew members. We haven’t had to hire a single new employee since the initial orientation we held more than 13 months ago.

I look forward to the future when the need arises to hire new associates so I can again call on The Tomorrow Project for quality employees. We’ve had a wonderful partnership experience and are thankful to be involved with such a great cause.”

Employees and former The Tomorrow Project trainees, Bernice and Gabby had this to say about their own progress:

“I love my job and I feel successful here, for first time in a long time. I’m established enough now that I’m filing a tax return for the first time in my life!”

“Honestly, I’m probably still here because of the great training I got at The Tomorrow Project.  Today I have my own place, I’m planting veggies on my porch and I’m even trying to paint watercolors and I feel stable, successful and happy.”

[Photo: Serving customers at Firehouse Subs]

Community HousingWorks

"This investment more than doubled Community HousingWorks' impact on child and resident stability and mobility in this very low income, mostly Latino community."

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Sue Reynolds, President/CEO of Community HousingWorks (CHW), described the far-reaching impact of a multi-year grant from the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation. The grant made it possible for the Los Robles property to weather the Economic Recession of 2007 – 2009.

“This investment more than doubled Community HousingWorks’ impact on child and resident stability and mobility in this very low income, mostly Latino community,” she said.

CHW upgrades the properties it buys and provides learning programs for children and financial education programs for adults by raising money from the community to match money from rent paid by the residents.

When CHW purchased Los Robles in Vista, California, the property required deep renovation, just when the recession hit and both fundraising and rent payments were constrained. The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation’s three years of grants, from 2007 to 2009, provided money for programs to continue during this time when the rental income was only able to cover the maintenance of the apartments.

 

“The increased responsiveness to providing resources to meet resident goals through Los Robles programs also raised the residents’ trust in Community HousingWorks.  When the financial markets strengthened, CHW had the needed resident support to refinance and deeply rehab the apartments in 2014,”  Sue said. “We also built a sparkling community center at Los Robles that attracts families, unlike the dilapidated building it replaced.”

“That $19 million rehabilitation and refinance project also increased the matching funds, from apartment cash flow, that leverage CHW’s fundraising efforts, allowing CHW to continue the fulltime impact of our services.  The result?  More children and adults served, and a long-term, more sustainable funding model that has the promise to support a similar level of impact in the new Los Robles Learning Center for years to come,” Sue said.

The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation’s multi-year grant to CHW is a human story of hope and a vision of the future. People grew in trust and hope because promised programs were not interrupted during a difficult time economically and residents had the assurance of an ongoing and significantly upgraded place to live when the economy improved.

[Photo Credit: Mark Davidson, New Los Robles Community Room]

Camp Pendleton Armed Services YMCA

"The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation has stepped up in their commitment to enrich the quality of life and strengthen military families at Camp Pendleton."

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“The RSF Foundation has provided support for preschool and Operation Hero after school programs, mothers suffering from depression, young Marine students at the School of Infantry, and emergency food and basic necessities to families suffering from financial crises,” said George Brown, Executive Director, Camp Pendleton Armed Services YMCA.

 

“For the past seven years, the RSF Foundation has partnered with the Armed Services YMCA to provide a critical safety net allowing military families not only to survive, but to thrive,” Mr. Brown said.

[Photo: Students in Operation Hero after school program]

Performing Arts Center at Rancho Santa Fe

"Although it may not have realized it in its early years, the fledgling school was quietly establishing the tradition that would become its trademark."

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A multi-year grant totaling $100,000 from the RSF Foundation helped make possible the completion of the Performing Arts Center at Rancho Santa Fe. Located at the center of the R. Roger Rowe campus, the Performing Arts Center provides the school and community a venue in which to present plays, concerts and other cultural events.

The history of what would eventually become the R. Roger Rowe School began in 1905, with a wood-framed schoolhouse and nearby cabin for the hardy teacher who made the weekly trek from San Diego.

The school was housed in two more locations in Rancho Santa Fe over the years, growing into a two-room adobe schoolhouse and then a larger building that would hold the growing student body.

Although it may not have realized it in its early years, the fledgling school was quietly establishing the tradition that would become its trademark: a promise to the present and future students of progressive leadership, dedicated staff and whole-hearted community support.

The school’s current campus on La Granada is at the heart of the active Rancho Santa Fe community. The Performing Arts Center, with a named Rancho Santa Fe Foundation stage, embodies the collaboration between the school, local organizations and community residents.

[Photo: Student actors on stage rehearsing for performances of Seussical]

Workshops for Warriors

"Funding from The Patriots Initiative made the computer lab accessible to every veteran and wounded warrior."

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Workshops for Warriors provides training, certification and placement in manufacturing careers for veterans and wounded warriors. However, during 2013, the first year of the program, the training facility in San Diego was not ADA-accessible. Many veterans have suffered serious disability, including the loss of limbs, and ADA access is essential for them to participate in the training program.

A $15,000 grant from The Patriots Initiative provided funding to build and install ADA access, making the computer lab available to every veteran and wounded warrior.

Workshops for Warriors prepares veterans for employment as machinists, welders, CAD/CAM operators, fabricators and machinery repair technicians. The program has a 100 percent placement rate of graduates into manufacturing careers. These graduates address the need for skilled workers to operate, program and maintain the computerized equipment in factories across the U.S.

Military veterans face significant barriers to employment and high quality training to prepare them for entry into the civilian workforce. Workshops for Warriors, with help from The Patriots Initiative, is removing obstacles and providing a path to economic independence.

[Photo: Students in Workshops for Warriors computer lab.]

Scripps Memorial Hospital, Encinitas

"When Scripps applied for a grant to expand the Rehabilitation Center's Brain Injury Program, the RSF Women's Fund responded with $45,000 to create a state-of-the-art rehabilitation room."

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RSF Foundation donors, Laverne and Blaine Briggs, are known as “The Angels of Rehab” at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas (Scripps).

The Briggs’ established the Rehab and Neurosciences Fund at Scripps in 2004. The fund provided seed money that allowed for expansion of the Rehabilitation Center’s Brain Injury Program to become the Military Brain Injury Program.

The original program had seen exceptional clinical outcomes with head injuries sustained after incidences such as a fall or stroke. But the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq created new victims of traumatic brain injury. A partnership between Scripps and the military (primarily Camp Pendleton) was a natural collaboration to help rehabilitate our locally-based, wounded soldiers.

In 2008, Scripps provided the only full-service outpatient program between the military and a private healthcare provider for traumatic brain injuries of active-duty military patients. Since those early days, the Scripps Rehabilitation Center’s Brain Injury Program has become a national model for brain injury rehabilitation and research.

The RSF Women’s Fund saw the future. When Scripps applied for a grant to expand the program in 2008, the RSFWF responded with $45,000 to create a state-of-the-art rehabilitation room. The Activities of Daily Living (ADL) room looks like an apartment, with kitchen, living and office areas. Patients practice meal preparation, computer skills, cognitive re-training and return-to-work activities.

Then, in 2009, the RSF Foundation Armed Forces Interest Group (now The Patriots Connection) made a $10,000 grant to remodel the ADL bathroom and provide equipment for the rehabilitation facility.

Today, the ADL room meets the needs of brain injury patients, military as well as civilian inpatients and outpatients, as they re-learn the necessary daily living and working skills to allow them to resume their lives.

[Photo: Plaque outside the ADL room at Scripps]

Community Foundations

100 Years

The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, established in 1981, is part of a 100-year tradition of community foundations in the United States. We connect people and organizations to support philanthropy and address community needs together.

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