Since The We Are Santa Monica Fund was created in spring 2020, local leaders have used the money to help residents, businesses and local organizations respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a recent report details all of the donations received between July 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020.
Over the course of the quarter, the City received $2,393.68 in new monetary contributions to the Fund and $51,640 in new in-kind contributions to the City, according to the May report, “bringing the cumulative totals received by the We Are Santa Monica Fund since its inception and donations of cash and in-kind items to the City to $162,049.73.”
The Fund, which is administered through the California Community Foundation, was originally created to assist with projects related to COVID-19 emergency and relief but policy has since been expanded to allow funds to be granted for relief from losses related to the looting and civil unrest of May 31, 2020. Other eligible uses include supporting medical assistance provided in connection with the COVID-19 emergency, providing technical assistance to those in need to apply for resources available from other sources, or supporting volunteers conducting the mission of the organization, such as background checks, uniforms, and food.
Decisions to expend funds are made to California Community Foundation by a decision committee, composed of three City department heads, or their designees.
As of June 30, 2020, the decision committee recommended the granting of 17 awards in the amount of $1,000 each to various nonprofit organizations. Six-thousand dollars in Annenberg Foundation funds were designated for food insecurity to the Kreation Foundation, which was then used to support the Virginia Avenue Park Food Pantry.
All donations are received by the City’s Emergency Operations Center team who then logs the inventory before the EOC Director approves the distribution of the donated items, the report states.
Chief Communications Officer Debbie Lee, who wrote the report to City Council, previously said, “Our Santa Monica community cares deeply and there’s clearly an overwhelming desire to donate and help in recovery efforts.”