Yareni Galicia, 7, left, gets a gift from Sydney Jackson at the Festividad for Christ community event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Community Foundation of the Valleys emphasizes generosity

The Community Foundation of the Valleys is encouraging locals to put their money where their heart is. In light of a recent restructuring of the organization, CFV will now collaborate with the California Community Foundation, allowing them to further encourage philanthropy from community members in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys. S. Brigette Loden, the executive director of the Community Foundation of the Valleys, said the mission of the foundation is broad in its efforts to improve the overall quality of life for communities. “That’s one of the beauties of a community foundation,” Loden said. “People can actually give and still be empowered where they want their funds as they utilize the benefits of what a community foundation does.” Whatever a person feels most passionate about contributing to, whether it be health, the arts, homelessness, animals or children, it just matters that people give, she said. “We really need to educate our community better about the importance of individual philanthropy,” Loden said. By collaborating with the state foundation, CFV will benefit from their financial and legal assets as well as their credibility, she said. While the valley foundation has only been active since 2003, California Community Foundation has existed since 1915 and has $1.5 billion in assets, she said. “It allows us to take advantage of their history, their tradition, their expertise, their track record of being the oldest community foundation in California,” Loden said. With this new partnership, CFV hopes to be much more active than they were in the past. Prior to now, the valley group has been mostly a “pass through” organization that funded events, Loden said. In the past, people have been stingy with their generosity, and though Santa Clarita has a high concentration of wealth, not many people give. “Our communities really don’t understand giving,” she said. “It’s important more than ever to increase awareness of the importance of giving.” Generosity makes people both healthier and happier, Loden said, and philanthropy is a critical part of life. “To keep our community as fabulous as it is and to continue it, people have to be involved on an individual basis,” Loden said. Thinking ahead, the executive director said people should consider the legacy they’ll leave when considering giving. “What do you want to be remembered for?” she said. “How do you want to make it better for the next people?” The group’s focus this year will be local campaigning before significant amounts are donated in the future. Also, Loden said the group will be encouraging financial service providers to educate clients about the tax benefits of being charitable.   [email protected] 661-287-5525 On Twitter as @ginaender

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