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Nov 9 - Dec 31, 2023

Cultivating Community

Monterey County Gives! grows one idea at a time, one donor at a time. 

By Bradley Zeve

The cliche “the new normal” became common in our vernacular just a few years back—expressing how previous uncommon events were suddenly commonplace, a new baseline.

It’s fair to say we’re in full recovery mode after the initial Covid wave. But still, the world feels more upside down than any other time—even though we’ve all lived through some earth-shaking natural and human-made local and world disasters.

In the upside-down department, the U.S. House of Representatives just ended three tumultuous weeks without a Speaker; the appropriation resolution to temporarily fund our government ends Nov. 17.

In the upside-down department, terrorists from Hamas crossed the border into Israel and killed hundreds of young people attending a music festival while capturing hundreds of civilian hostages, reigniting turmoil there, and worldwide antisemitism as well as Islamophobia. In September and October, racists Zoom-bombed city council meetings in Monterey, Seaside and Pacific Grove.

In the upside-down department, the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to unnerve peace in Europe, unsettle the world economy, and reorganize global political and economic partnerships.

Here at the Weekly and Monterey County NOW, we’ve always held a special place to both observe and report on this news. Our goal has always been to be informative and accurate and offer critical insight and analysis, to help you have a better understanding and perspective. We also deliver inspiring and hopeful stories about local community members doing work that improves life for all of us. One inspiring sector we frequently report on is the nonprofit community, where pushing boulders uphill is part of the job description..

Monterey County Gives! has been an amazing project for the Weekly team to be part of since its inception; our own donor-advised fund at the Community Foundation morphed into Monterey County Gives! and partner after partner stepped in to join this project (special thanks to the Community Foundation and Monterey Peninsula Foundation—they’ve been game-changers). We’ve all had our hands in the dirt with you, cultivating community, identifying the ideas and organizations and people deserving our love and support. This “new normal” is nothing short of incredible and awe-inspiring.

In your hands is our special edition of the 2023 Monterey County Gives! Last year, we collectively broke all expectations and records, raising over $11 million in six weeks, thanks to 7,500 of you who donated. Imagine if we can increase that number of donors to 10,000, then 20,000 in years to come, all in support of the organizations on the front lines of positive change for our community, each with their hands in the dirt, cultivating big and small projects that will impact all of us, for years to come.

Please join in, invite your neighbors and friends to donate, and together we can create a new normal that is right-side up, but only if we’re doing this together. Please join us. Let’s cultivate greatness.

Bradley Zeve is Founder & CEO of Monterey County Weekly and Monterey County NOW.