Stepping Up to Help
By Sheryl Young, San Mateo County Program Director 
Nearly 70 people were let go from the Half Moon Bay City Flower Company suddenly this September and November 10th is the last day of business for another 300 men and women. Many have worked for the nursery from 20 up to 40 years. Many have shared that this has been their first and only job in the United States, and they have "grown up" working here. For many coming from Mexico, working here has been their life, they have become a family here and all that they have learned have been within the walls of Bay City Flower.
"The most vulnerable members of our community are impacted by this closure, as many are Mexican immigrants and seniors, including both the mother and father of many families" 
- Belinda Arriaga, Director of  Ayudando Latinos A Sonar, a latino cultural arts and social services program in Half Moon Bay
Searching for ways to make a difference during this time of crisis, PVF along with other local non profits have come together to mobilize resources. A Resource Fair was recently held for the first set of workers laid off, and a second one is scheduled within the next 2 weeks. "At least we're not alone," whispered one of the women with tears in her eyes at the fair. 
The challenges this community faces are significant and require expanded case management and assistance in getting new jobs. With so many stressed and worrying about the impact of losing their job, along with not being familiar with finding resources, one of the needs identified is finding a creative way to create a bridge of support. This is where PVF stepped up to bring hope in a time of crisis. ALAS hired an esteemed Bay City Flower nursery worker to do one-on-one job and resource development through an immediate grant from PVF last week.
A number of non-profits are meeting to look at ways to assist the largest employee lay off in the history of the Coastside. The nursery was started in 1910 by a Japanese immigrant in Redwood City, and relocated to Half Moon Bay in 1959. The nursery industry has been struggling, and the Bay City Flower Company has been operating in one of the costliest places in the nation. The company can no longer continue business and is closing its doors.
This is a complicated issue as many of these workers live in Moon Ridge apartments which are reserved for agricultural farm workers. So, future jobs in agricultural and agricultural focused housing are at-risk.
We know that there are short- and long-term challenges ahead for these families in the Coastside community. We are proud that because of our donors, PVF can rapidly respond to immediate needs and work collaboratively with ALAS to offer direct support during such a critical time.
If you would like to help, there are a number of local non-profits serving the Half Moon Bay community that you can donate to, including:  Coastside Hope Puente de la Costa Sur or Ayudando Latinos a Sonar .
The Ripple Effects of First Funding in Pescadero
"Find 'em and fund 'em - find the right people with good ideas, and invest in them."
Logan Payne was a new young teacher 40 years ago who wanted to help her community of Pescadero. An initial investment of $2,500 from PVF brought together a group of enthusiastic young women who taught language arts, math and science to 30 children of the local farmworkers.

Over the past 40 years, these women and others have continued to operate a thrift shop and organize bake sales to receive donations from neighbors, continuing to create opportunities for hundreds of children to learn and explore the world.

The ripple effect of this through the years has been the creation of several coastside community programs, including Puente, who now has provided resources to low-income families for over 20 years. They have created over 40 programs in response to critical community needs, including adult education, youth leadership development and employment, economic security, and health and wellness.
About the Editors
James Higa
James Higa, Executive Director, brings 28 years of executive experience from Silicon Valley, working with Steve Jobs to change the face of technology. He was at the birth of the personal computer revolution as a member of the original Macintosh team and was deeply involved in the creation of many products and services at Apple over 3 decades. He has a long history of public service as a board member of Stanford's Haas Center and in grassroots relief efforts.
Bill Somerville, Founder, has been in non-profit and philanthropic work for over 50 years. He was the director of a community foundation for 17 years, and in 1991, he founded Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. Bill has consulted at over 400 community foundations, on creative grantmaking and foundation operations. Bill is the author of  Grassroots Philanthropy: Field Notes of a Maverick Grantmaker
About PVF
PVF is a demonstration foundation practicing unique forms of grantmaking and innovative philanthropy. Our primary interest is in the creative and significant use of the philanthropic dollar.
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