Starfish and Resilience? They are closer than you think!

For those who attended the Community Foundation of the Verdugos’ annual meeting, “One Starfish – Countless Ripples … Resilience!”, they surprisingly learned that when a starfish is cut in half, or loses a limb, everything grows back.  Now that’s resilience for you, shared keynote speaker Douglas C. Nies, Ph.D.

The annual gathering on April 3 at the Brand Library and Art Center was a part of the Foundation’s responsibility to the community to provide information about its activities, share its annual report, and provide an educational component for the general community on key issues that pertain to the region and community.

Dr. Nies provided tips on how we can show ourselves some self-care so that we can resiliently be better at what we do. It’s true that we cannot do everything. Whether we are a donor, a volunteer, someone who works at a nonprofit, or a resident of a community who is backed by educators, police, fire, and healthcare professionals, we all need to be able to have a life/work balance … and not dismiss the “life” part of our daily existence.  Going to sleep earlier, eating well, staying hydrated with plenty of water, and making time for exercise or a favorite hobby are small ways in which to get started.  A video of Dr. Nies’ presentation will be on the CFV website in a few weeks and those interested may view it there.

Adding to the evening was the CFV’s annual report which outlined the Foundation’s goal to focus raising money for its Field of Interest Funds, including a new Animal Welfare Fund.  A panel, moderated by Foundation Board Member Toni Beck Espinoza, focused on the budget gap crippling public school districts across the nation; Trena Pitchford of Burbank Arts for All Foundation and Elsa Chagolla with Glendale Educational Foundation urged community members to support their local schools and look for ways in which we can all work together to address the crisis. 

New trends in healthcare were shared by Irene Bourdon, President of Adventist Health Glendale Foundation – these include senior services and a focus on wellness and prevention.  Finally, Dr. Laura Duncan of Ascencia, an organization lifting people out of homelessness, shared that 94% of those they place in homes have a solid retention rate. Though they help people of all ages, helping families with babies and children to become housed was a priority in order to reduce Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE scores) that result in catastrophic health issues later in life. 

Many thanks to those who attended. Contact the Foundation at 818-241-8040 or email for more information about the event or if we can assist connecting you with nonprofits in the area in order to learn more about the great work they are doing. 

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