3 San Diego Nonprofits Celebrate Anniversaries
Feeding San Diego, Stand Down, and the Jewish Community Foundation all celebrated milestones in 2017
Feeding San Diego, est. 2007 Since October 2007, Feeding San Diego has been providing healthy, nutritious food to kids, families, and seniors in need. The nonprofit was formed just weeks before a series of devastating wildfires tore through San Diego County and forced hundreds of thousands of residents from their homes. In the aftermath, Feeding San Diego stepped up to the plate. Its only two employees at the time secured and delivered 515,000 pounds of food and emergency supplies to evacuees, firefighters, and volunteers in that first week. Feeding San Diego has kept up the good work since. The nonprofit, part of the Feeding America network, distributed more than 25 million meals last year. Its mission is to donate healthy food with dignity, and it does so with philanthropic and community support. Each dollar donated can provide four meals. “To end hunger in San Diego, everyone must play a part,” CEO Vince Hall says. “From our community leaders to those who simply share a message on social media, we encourage the entire community to join us as we fight for hunger-relief.”
Stand Down, est. 1988 In summer 2017, Veterans Village of San Diego hosted its 30th Stand Down, an event that helps connect homeless veterans with necessary services and offers some respite from the stress of their daily lives. For three days each July, homeless veterans can go for showers, clothing, haircuts, and medical and dental care, along with breakfast, coffee, and—perhaps most important of all—a warm welcome extended with respect. Participants also have access to court services, counseling, employment assistance, recovery providers, and integrative medicine. Stand Down’s creators, Robert Van Keuren and Jon Nachison, wanted to consolidate veterans’ services that were spread throughout the region and bridge the gap between service providers and their recipients. “You don’t leave anybody outside the wire,” reads a statement on Stand Down’s website. “If you’ve got wounded outside the wire, you go get them, regardless of the cost.” Since the first Stand Down in 1988, over 200 similar events have popped up across the country.
Jewish Community Foundation, est. 1968 The Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Throughout those five decades, the county’s oldest community foundation has distributed more than $1 billion on behalf of its donors to more than 5,000 Jewish and secular charitable organizations around the world. Funds have gone toward rebuilding a New Orleans park destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, documenting the stories of Italians who rescued Jews during World War II, sending more students to private school in Turkey amid rising anti-Semitism, protecting biodiverse areas in Ecuador, and water sanitation in flood-ravaged parts of Pakistan. The foundation also works to inspire younger San Diegans to give back. “As we celebrate 50 years of giving and look to the next 50 years, we will continue to offer our hallmark personal services, while also providing new, cutting-edge products that will ensure greater impact,” CEO Beth Sirull says. “One of our goals is to engage with the next generation of philanthropists, who have a fresh perspective about how they want to make a difference in our world.”