June 13, 2020
I am sitting at my kitchen table, reminding myself to get up and stretch, expand my horizons, go out into the garden, focus on a flower, notice a butterfly, eat something healthy, turn off the pings of Facebook and Twitter and debating whether I should risk going to the grocery store, the post office, the bank. For almost fifty years there has been a rhythm to my life of community connection as I bought a stamp, picked up tonight’s dinner, made a deposit. I used to joke that my people were aisle four, five pm, Tuesdays at Harvest. If I changed my shopping time or day, I discovered a long-lost tribe of neighbors and friends hiding out at aisle three, ten am, Wednesdays. Now we are going on month four, I have run out of closets to curate, drawers to neaten, old photos, letters and books to sort. I miss people, I miss hugging in the produce aisle and I miss my community.
Recently my husband had a medical event necessitating a 911 call. There is something comforting about recognizing your first responders despite their N-95 masks and our cloth ones. And also, something terrifying about seeing the look of concern and caution in their eyes as we go through the litany of Corona Virus symptoms. My darling dear fire department EMTs and ambulance crew gently told me to stay home, that the parking lot of the hospital at 10 o’clock at night was no place for a lady of my 74 years. That I would be there for hours by myself and no, I could not follow my husband into the ER as they wheeled him out on a gurney.
Fortunately, it turns out to be a reaction to a new drug and I am able to pick my husband up several hours later. I count our blessings. I can’t imagine calling 911 and never seeing him again, an experience that happened recently to close friends of ours after a marriage of over fifty years because Corona Virus means no visitors and no ability to console loved ones in person regardless of the reason for admission, diagnosis or cause of death.
At our age, not being able to comfort each other when illness strikes is the hardest of all. I think of 115,000 deaths and all the hospitalizations and deaths to come and am overwhelmed with sadness at the trauma of separation and the thought of grieving in solitary.
I miss my grandchildren and their parents. I am forever grateful that one adult child and her partner moved home to help us. I am proud of my son who is working with the homeless in Ukiah. We visit on our deck from a good eight feet. We wear masks, hold our breath and risk a hug.
More than ever, I am aware of the inequity of economics deciding who will be vulnerable and who will have the luxury of isolation. If you are fortunate enough to be reading this, please help MCCF help our local families who are struggling. As our community opens up, more of our community will be at risk. Let’s not risk our humanity by leaving anyone behind to fend for themselves.
May 1, 2020
Mendocino Coast Children's Fund was started in 1992 around a kitchen table by a small group of community members who wanted to help local children and families who were at risk of slipping through the cracks. Nearly thirty years later, we've grown into one of the first lines of defense for families in crisis, working with over 40 organizations and foundations throughout the county to make sure children and families do not go hungry, unclothed, or homeless.
The intense realities of Covid-19 are creating new yet old ways to be together. All-day and evening, our Children’s Fund phone rings—folks offering what little they have, choosing less for themselves in exchange for knowing they’ve eased the way for someone else. People are digging deep to take care of each other. We’ve seen donations of diapers, home-sewn masks, warm clothes, boxes of starts, and baby formula. We open our doors to find loaves of homemade bread and jars of hearty soup on our doorsteps, and notes from our neighbors asking if we need anything from town. Here on the coast, we realize that at the end of the day, if we have a little less for ourselves but have made life better for others, we are richer than when we started.
As MCCF board members and volunteers sit at our kitchen tables and answer calls, texts, emails, and master the art of Zooming for the Children's Fund, it is clear that what transcends our fear for ourselves is our heartfelt concern for each other. Littles and bigs, youngsters and elders, neighbors and businesses are all crocheting a community safety net of kindness. We are linked by the stitches of love that keep us all connected.
Hopefully it is these instances of kindness that our community will remember and our children will carry forward when we look back on this time and the way our world changed. Nothing is certain about Covid-19, but we know, deep in our hearts, that we are here for each other. Whatever the lessons of 2020, we hope our children retain this and forever know: where there is compassion there is hope.
Almost three decades later, MCCF is all of us opening our hearts to each other. MCCF says yes, when other agencies lack funds or solutions- when times are troubling, we get busy! We are at your service, ensuring that your good intentions and generosity translate into effective strategies.
MCCF is the Coast's Covid-19 first responders, responsible for the coordination of Covid-19 response from Westport to Elk. We are working with partners across the County. We are serving the needs of infants, children, families, the elderly and our most economically and medically vulnerable community members. Covid-19 means all of us are in this together!
We are honored to be entrusted by you and over 40 agencies and foundations to do this work. Please send funds as you can, as well as your ideas for sharing your resources with our neighbors. We are all volunteer. One hundred percent of your donation goes to support children and community members at risk. We are the oldest nonprofit grassroots advocacy in our County. Our thanks to the Community Fdn of Mendocino County for an initial grant of $25,000 to help offset hunger. We matched this amount and have now distributed $60,000 in aid. "It meant so much to me not be forgotten" said a community member in need. Your donations to MCCF make hope possible for hundreds of families.
Stay home, know that you are loved, and please help MCCF as we go forward.
Annie Liner provides an MCCF update on KZYX.
June 13, 2020
As we work around the clock we are checking your phone calls, texts and emails frequently. You can leave a message for MCCF on 707 937-6111 or reach us by voice or text on our cell: 707-684-6644. You can use the form on this site to email us. Donations of money and local gift cards are needed and we are glad to help you do this in any way that works for you. We want to find solutions that also support local businesses and our local economy whenever possible. Please mail checks, local gift cards and/or gift certificates to MCCF, PO Box 1616, Mendocino, CA 95460 and we will receipt you. Credit card and PayPal donations can be made on our website or by calling us with your information.
MCCF is providing our Coast health providers and other essential partners financial help and technical support. We are providing them with nutritional and hygiene resources, diapers, digital thermometers, gas cards, food certificates and hope to share with their clients. MCCF focuses on effective, accountable strategies to make our community response to an unprecedented challenging time as Coast Strong as it can be. We are working hand in hand with our school districts and social service agencies to reach as many families, seniors and community members as possible.
MCCF is all of us being our most loving selves. Join Us!
So far we have distributed:
Over $100,000 dollars in COVID-19 SOS emergency funds, medical supplies, diapers and wipes, shoes and clothes, food and gas cards to our key community partners to share with our most vulnerable community members. We can only continue with your help. Please donate today in whatever amount you can.
These resources are being used to help our most at-risk elders, families and children: folks in quarantine or self-isolation without helpers, often young families currently without access to stimulus checks, unemployment, PUA or other financial assistance programs; courageous grandparents raising grandchildren, struggling families with special needs children. We need your donations to expand this effort to make sure no one's life is being risked due to lack of resources.
Among the projects we have funded:
COVID-19 mask-making supplies for Mendocino Coast volunteer groups and individuals who are sewing masks for medical responders, essential workers and vulnerable community members.
Diapers, infant items, digital thermometers, laundry and hygiene supplies for the Fort Bragg Food Bank, Mendocino Coast Clinics, Street Medicine, Migrant Education and our schools to share with clients and students. If you are a motel, hotel or B and B or laundromat that can help with laundry or hygiene supplies, please let us know.
Educational materials and books for students, generously discounted by our local Gallery Bookstore, for our teachers to use with children who do not have internet access. Please consider donating additional Gallery Bookstore gift certificates to MCCF so we can help kids who are now being home schooled and need reading materials for the summer.
Gift certificates to 2020 graduates at Mendocino High School to local eateries thanks to the kindness of an anonymous MCCF donor.
A Free Thrift Store located at the Motel 6 conference room in Fort Bragg.
In the first 14 weeks of COVID-19, MCCF has successfully coordinated essential and urgent community needs and efforts with over 200 government agencies, schools, non-profits, grassroots efforts, volunteers, service organizations, foundations, donors, local businesses and individuals in need. We have over 2,700 children living in families between Westport and Elk and over twenty thousand full-time residents. While our primary focus is children, children live in intergenerational families and the health of all is important to the health of our community.
Our thanks to Harvest Markets for a generous donation of diapers to help young families and to Motel 6 for making their conference center available for our Free Thrift Store which we opened this week to make gently used clothing available to families. Our gratitude to the City of Fort Bragg and Fort Bragg USD for storing essential items for us as we work around the clock to meet community members needs. Our accolades to Fort Bragg Food Bank for always being willing to distribute the non food items we purchase like laundry soap and baby items to share with our community.
Our appreciation to the Community Fdn of Mendocino County, Rotary of Mendocino and Fort Bragg, the Knights of Columbus, Harvest Markets and several anonymous donors and family foundations for funds to help us meet our mission. Big gifts and small makes this all possible.
We are humbled to be coordinating your best intentions. Please support each other by donating to MCCF today to help the most vulnerable among us, shop at home as much as you can, follow the SIP rules for our County and stay safe. One hundred percent of your donations go to support our most vulnerable. Our small operating expenses are paid by the generosity of anonymous donors.
Stay home, know that you are loved,