November, 2021
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The beginning of a season of giving

The holiday season is upon us, which means we are closer to the days where we can gather with loved ones and celebrate each other with gifts and gratitude. The holidays in 2021 will look different than previous years, but they will be no less hopeful.

However, the holidays are a difficult time for many of the communities and individuals we serve. Colder days means higher utility bills to keep homes warm, and many families pay these bills while facing economic uncertainty. For those without homes, being unsheltered in the winter can be dangerous. And food insecurity continues to impact families and households all across Ventura County. The holiday season is a time for us to step up and meet the needs of all those we serve, and we look forward to supporting our communities and strengthening the pathways out of poverty.

In this newsletter, you will find a number of opportunities for you to support us this holiday season. I invite you to partner with us during our Turkey Baskets Drive or our End of Year Campaign. We are marking the holidays with hope and generosity, and we do this with your continued partnership.
I wish you and your loved ones continued good health and safety.

Susy Lopez-Garcia
Executive Director
Community Action of Ventura County
Support our Turkey Baskets Drive!
Our annual Turkey Baskets Drive is underway, and we need your help.
The holiday season is particularly difficult for many individuals we serve; those without shelter have nowhere to gather with family and friends, and it is still unsafe for many others to celebrate.

Last year, we provided 125 baskets filled with essentials for Thanksgiving meals in 2020. These baskets ensured families could celebrate the holiday without worrying about costs and were a small sign of holiday cheer during a difficult year. With your help, we can give generously to more families in 2021. 

Our goal is to fill over 150 with fresh food for Thanksgiving meals and grocery gift cards to use this holiday season. You can bring holiday cheer and food security to those most in need in Ventura County.
Keeping our unsheltered clients safe & warm
As the weather gets colder, conditions get harsher for unsheltered community members living in cars or on the street. We are always accepting in-kind donations for the following items that are most in demand:

  • New Socks
  • New Underwear
  • Blankets
  • Gently worn shoes
  • Gently worn t-shirts and pants for adults
  • Gently worn jackets and sweaters

We rely on generous community partners who help us care for those in need. We are especially grateful for St. Jude's Catholic Church in Westlake Village and their Loaves & Fishes Ministries for their recent donation of towels and gently-used jackets and sweaters. We also want to thank the following community members for their recent donations of clothes:
Jose de Lara
Alan Acebo
John Garcia
Adrienne Lostaunau
Adam Ipatzi
Lorenzo Castillo
Special thanks goes to Ms. Irene Murrieta for her monetary gift that will help us provide Thanksgiving bags to 40 unsheltered adults.

Our Homeless Services Staff is ready to help you help those most in need. To learn more, contact us at 805-436-4017 or click below to visit our website.
Our end of year campaign is almost here!
2021 has been a challenging year for many of our communities in Ventura County. Even as the pandemic begins to slowly recede, the holiday season presents many challenges to those who rely on our services and programs.

We hear their stories of overcoming adversity everyday, and they motivate us to work harder than ever to lift all communities out of poverty and to ensure everyone can live safely and with dignity.

Later this month, you will receive first-hand accounts of the support we provided to those in need in 2021. We invite you to read these stories and support any of our programs as we continue to meet the growing needs of Ventura County in 2022 and beyond. Keep an eye on your mailbox, your inbox, and our social media feeds to learn more and join us in strengthening pathways out of poverty in our communities.
CAVC Board Member Spotlight: Jayn Walter
The CAVC Board of Directors advances our mission across Ventura County as a collective of like-minded individuals across private and public sectors who are committed to strengthening pathways out of poverty in all of our communities.

In our new Board Member Spotlight series, we ask Board members about who they are and why they support CAVC. Our first Spotlight features Jayn Walter, Case Manager at Help of Ojai Community Assistance Program.
  • Name: Jayn Walter
  • Occupation: Case Manager, Help of Ojai Community Assistance Program
  • Sector/Community Representing on the Board: Low Income
  • Member of the Board since: September 2020

CAVC: Why did you join the CAVC Board of Directors?
  • JW: I was introduced to CAVC’s work through their HEAP team, who utilize our office as an outreach site in Ojai. I was so impressed by their work I went online and looked for ways to get involved with the organization. I have a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management, and felt serving on the CAVC board would be a great way to contribute my knowledge and skills while also representing the community I serve in the Ojai Valley. 

CAVC: What inspires you most about CAVC?
  • JW: The commitment to community wellness. 

CAVC: What is one program or service CAVC offers that is particularly meaningful to you, and why?
  • JW: I love the HEAP program because I have seen firsthand how a utility grant can change someone’s life. Plus the staff is so fun and nice! 

CAVC: Describe a day in the life of Jayn Walter:
  • JW: Food distribution is a major program at the Community Assistance Program, so I begin most workdays by either picking up a food donation or collating food boxes to distribute to community members. Our office spends the first half of the day handing out food from our office and answering client questions. Since COVID, I found I spend a lot of my time on the phone, touching base with clients and ensuring they have the resources they need. I usually wrap up around 5pm and then head home to hang out with my husband and our two dogs. We walk dogs, make dinner and I watch my favorite tv shows before I call it a day! 

CAVC: What is one goal you have for yourself in 2022?
  • JW: I’m expecting my first child in December, so my goal for 2022 is to thrive as new parent and professional! 
Staff Spotlight: Our Food Program staff are forklift trained and certified!
As our Food Program continues to grow, it was essential for us to ensure our staff were trained to move pallets of food in and out of our warehouse safely. In October, six new Food Program staff members and managers were trained and certified to operate a forklift. Special thanks goes to Isaac Rivera from Sunbelt Rentals for coming to train our staff!

Our Food Program continues to serve over 300 households weekly through our Community Market. As a result of our partnership with Food Forward and FoodShare, we are also a food hub to 15 local pantries in the County.
CAVC's Mission & Vision
Our Vision:
We envision a community successfully lifting people out of poverty.
Our Mission:
Helping our community establish pathways out of poverty through advocacy, partnerships and services that promote dignity
and self- sufficiency.