State legislators and the California Association of Nonprofits announced their annual selections for Nonprofit of the Year in each district late last month. The 113 honorees range from organizations in health and food banks to music and sports, including more than a dozen in the Valley region.Representatives from their respective districts honored Valley organizations including Chicas Mom, San Fernando Valley Mental Health Center, Mid Valley YMCA and ChapCare, among others. During the pandemic, Chicas Mom hosted webinars to promote healthy eating habits and teach computer skills. San Fernando Valley Mental Health Center provided increased resources for mental health support during lockdowns and hosted COVID-19 information sessions as well as virtual comedy events for community members. Other organizations that were recognized provided food deliveries, health care support and child care services during government-mandated business closures to support those in need of assistance.
“California nonprofits are a vital part of our economy. The challenges of the past year have stressed how important nonprofits’ services are to our communities throughout the state,” San Fernando Valley Assemblymember Luz Rivas said in a statement. “I want to thank our nonprofits across the state for stepping up during a critical time of need. I am proud to author ACR 80, which recognizes and celebrates California Nonprofits Day.”Rivas and state Sen. Monique Limón authored Assembly Concurrent Resolution 80 to proclaim June 23 as California Nonprofits Day.
“The pandemic and shelter-in-place orders that are starting to lift have put nonprofits – usually hidden in plain sight – in the spotlight,” Jan Masaoka, chief executive at the California Association of Nonprofits, in a statement. “By selecting an organization to recognize as a Nonprofit of the Year, our elected officials celebrate the good work they see nonprofits doing in their districts and ensure communities see and appreciate the collective impact nonprofits are making.” Across the nonprofit community, according to CalNonprofits, 32 percent of nonprofits have been forced to reduce activity below 50 percent, and 14 percent have completely shut down due to the pandemic. While the nonprofit sector is the fourth largest employer by industry in the state, many organizations are suffering deep financial losses from a drop in earned income, even with temporary relief from federal loan and state relief programs.
“I want to recognize your resiliency during this challenging time,” Limón said in a statement. “You have stepped up to provide families with essentials, were on the front lines of keeping our communities safe and found ways to adjust your mission to ensure our communities continue to thrive.”