Letter from the Board Chair

The California Community Foundation serves Los Angeles County by empowering committed donors and community members who seek to transform the lives of those in need. Over the last 100 years, the foundation has been a steadfast supporter of the integration of all communities into the economic, cultural and civic fabric of the region.

For decades, people have come to the Los Angeles region from all over the world to realize their dreams and build a better future for their families. One in three residents of the county was born outside the United States, and their creativity, drive and extraordinary efforts have led to Los Angeles becoming one of the most successful and entrepreneurial cities in the world. When our County’s diverse immigrants become full participants in the life of Los Angeles, all the residents of our region benefit.

In August 2014, we responded quickly as thousands of unaccompanied refugee children arrived at the U.S. border after fleeing violence in Central America. With a 92 percent surge in arrivals over 2013, and with the majority of children coming to Los Angeles County, we knew we had to act. CCF partnered with the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, as well as with local, state and national funders and concerned donors to create the Our Children Relief Fund. We granted more than $750,000 to support nonprofit organizations on the front lines of this humanitarian crisis that provided children with shelter, legal representation and health and social services.

This year, CCF supported a wide range of organizations helping hard-working immigrants in Los Angeles County apply for citizenship, work authorization and driver’s licenses. Our New Americans Opportunity Fund assisted immigrants seeking temporary relief from deportation through federal Administrative Relief programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). We also funded efforts to prevent fraudulent schemes that target immigrants.

None of these initiatives could have succeeded without the support and engagement of our donors and partners in philanthropy, government, business and the nonprofit sector. This collaboration is central to strengthening our region’s economic and social fabric and creating a more prosperous Los Angeles County.

As my term as chair of the Board of Directors comes to a close, I am optimistic about the future of our region, and I am especially proud of the foundation’s work to ensure a brighter future for all residents of Los Angeles County. I look forward to passing on the torch to my successor, Tom Unterman, who I know will skillfully lead CCF into its next chapter of growth and service.

With gratitude,

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Cynthia A. Telles, Ph.D.
Chair, Board of Directors