A Community is Defined by Resilience


Our California seasons are changing and the country is beginning to open up after our long pandemic lockdown. The impacts of this terrible COVID-19 virus on individuals, families and communities will be studied and evaluated for years to come.  What has been lost?  What role has poverty and unequal access to health care and education played in how people and communities have been effected by the virus?  Many articles have already been written about the inequities laid bare by the pandemic, illustrating how those with resources and jobs that allow them to work from home are faring so much better than those who do not.   There are lessons to be learned from this experience.

What lessons can we take for the non-profit world?  When the pandemic first hit, partners were doing all they could to simply meet the basic needs of our community – food, emergency funds, housing, childcare.  In some cases our grants went to help non-profits turn their after school programing for young people into kitchens or into child care centers for essential workers.  They did what needed to be done for the sake of their staff and the communities they serve.  Now that we are past the worst of the crisis, we need to take the time to think about what comes next.  Do business models change or new services remain?  How can we “build back better,” a theme the current administration is embracing?

Recently, I have been reading about a concept called “post-traumatic growth” which posits that negative experiences can spur positive change.  On an individual level, these positive changes can take the form of a recognition of personal strengths and a greater appreciation for life.  Applying this to organizations, such as the ones Sand Hill Foundation supports, this positive change may mean a renewed commitment to equity, a doubling down on some services, a desire to speak up more and louder for those suffering.

Now is the time to consider how to come back stronger, determine how to better meet the needs of your clients, and look for more partners to help you achieve these goals.

All of us at Sand Hill Foundation are awed by the work of our grantees and pledge to continue to be your partner in serving our community. This may mean emergency assistance or investing in your capacity to serve more or serve differently. We want to be responsive and nimble so you can do the work you are so urgently called to do in this extraordinary year 2020.

With gratitude and respect,

Susan Ford Dorsey