Stronger Together

by
Eryka Santoyo, FCNI Supervisor
April, 15, 2020 -

I am so grateful to be a part of the Central Coast community. Even in the midst of these unprecedented times, with uncertainty reaching every corner of our lives, we have come together to support one another. Ever since the COVID-19 health crisis hit us locally, I have seen some amazing examples of generosity and compassion. From restaurants and local businesses supplying free meals to those in need, while also coming up with creative ways to support their wait staff, to our teachers and schools finding innovative solutions to school closures, making sure learning continues for every student. As well as other nonprofits and county agencies partnering together to ensure our community’s most vulnerable--the homeless, families and children--feel safe and have access to critical basic needs. Our community is amazing. 

Community is at the heart of Family Care Network’s mission “to enhance the wellbeing of children, youth and families in partnership with our community”; and it is because of our partnership with our community that we have weathered many storms, just as we will weather this storm together. As we all face this crisis together, now is the time for gratitude, thankfulness and support to guide our mindset, thoughts and actions. We at FCNI are so blessed to have a community who right away has wrapped its support around us, our mission, our staff, and the children and families we serve.

There is nothing but gratitude to be had for those in our community who have rallied around Family Care Network through our Be the Difference Pledge Drive. As the health concerns around COVID-19 began to escalate, we had to make the very difficult decision to cancel our 17th annual Miracle Miles for Kids event. Not only did this mean cancelling a community-favorite event, but it also meant that we would be unable to host our largest fundraiser of the year. Of course this situation is fear-inducing. Family Care Network exists to create positive change in the lives of those we serve; to ensure they live healthy, enriching lives. This crisis seemed to impede on this purpose! But if we know anything at all, it is that we are better together; together we can still be the difference for those we serve.

Our fear quickly turned into gratitude. As our Community Resource Development team reached out to our MM4K sponsors, we were greeted with understanding, compassion, and generosity as they all moved their sponsorships from MM4K to our Be the Difference Pledge Drive. These sponsors (listed below) are true champions of Family Care Network and the children, youth and families we serve. Not only did they not hesitate to give their support, but they have allowed their sponsorship funds to act as a match for our community pledge drive. This is HUGE, and will have such a significant impact on our ability to respond to our clients’ emerging needs.

Unfortunately, this crisis will hit our families the hardest during this crisis- they will lose wages, jobs, childcare, and stability. They need immediate funds to ensure that they can stay together and have their urgent needs met. We have asked our community to come alongside us to help those in need- and the amount of support our agency and families have received is truly something to be thankful for!

And our gratitude doesn’t stop there. We are blessed to have support from all over our community. MM4K participants have donated their registration fees to FCNI, community organizations like the Chamber of Commerce have sprung into action and asked what they can do to support us during this time, Studio Stitch has banded together seamstresses to sew masks for our staff so they can continue to meet the critical needs of our families, and our FCNI staff continue to put our families first, creating new ways to check-in and serve those in care, and going above and beyond by spreading the word about our agency needs to their friends, family and social networks. Family Care Network continues to move forward fueled by the encouragement, compassion, and positivity of our community. We could not be more grateful for this support!

So, thank you to all who have been and are continuing to support our mission. This is a true “partnership with our community.” We are so grateful to you all and know, now more than ever, that together we can and will Be the Difference.