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Nov 7 - Dec 31, 2019

Monterey County Gives! 2019 Launches



By Dan Baldwin

November and December have become Monterey County Gives! season. While MCGives! doesn’t provide you days off or generate brightly wrapped packages, it does have some essential holiday characteristics. For starters, it’s a celebration. The act of giving should always be joyous, and a look at the list of the 163 participating nonprofits should fill us with gratitude. 

Organizations are working diligently year-round to provide access to healthy food, bring art, music and theater to our communities, protect the environment, deliver health care services to both young and old. They provide youth programs, protect animal welfare, deliver services to the homeless, support housing. The list goes on. And it begs the question: Where would we be without them? Supporting the work of our local agencies makes life better for all of us.

Holiday seasons like MCGives! often provide respite from whatever cranky aspect of daily life might be nibbling at our rosy optimism. (Hmm, wonder what that might be.) As we watch unsettling scenes play out on a national stage, it starts to feel like an irreversible condition, a permanent culture not allowing us to return to some modicum of normalcy. MCGives! is the perfect antidote. Rather than feel frustrated over things we can’t control, Monterey County Gives! provides the opportunity to control our local destiny. We get to invest philanthropic resources in work that resonates with each of us individually.

On an institutional level, the Monterey Peninsula Foundation and Community Foundation for Monterey County have supported the remarkable soccer complex in East Salinas. For more than 10 years, a group of folks has worked tirelessly to provide a historically underserved neighborhood with a safe place for families and youth to engage in healthy activities. In September, they celebrated the grand opening of Phase I. They’ve already secured funding and started working on Phase II. They used their collective strengths to create something extraordinary that will produce a positive legacy for generations to come.

A different group is in the beginning stages of developing a homeless shelter in Seaside. It is a partnership between Monterey County and nonprofits Community Human Services and Gathering for Women. They are extremely well organized and plan to begin providing services to homeless women and children by mid-2020.   

These stories abound in Monterey County—organizations see a need, then take action to meet that need. Look through the nonprofit profiles and find the Big Ideas that align with your values. The more we own our ability to impact local communities, the less we’ll feel the frustration of watching core institutions in upheaval.  

Monterey County Gives! has grown beyond all expectations, thanks to the partnership of the Monterey County Weekly, Community Foundation for Monterey County and Monterey Peninsula Foundation. Last year, MCGives! produced more than $5.4 million in grants to local nonprofits. This was only possible because individual donors like you made a choice to give local, to support nonprofits whose work is deeply embedded in the health and well-being of our county.

After all, ’tis the season—MCGives! season. Don’t give ’til it hurts. Give ’til it feels good.

Dan Baldwin is President/CEO of the Community Foundation for Monterey County. Steve John is CEO and Tournament Director of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation.