Op-ed Published by Gold Country Media May 21, 2020

The last two months have given us a window into how much we need each other.

A wave of unemployed workers need help putting food on the table. Shut-in seniors need home-delivered provisions and wellness checks. Underserved youth need access to technology. Vulnerable families need mental health supports.

Placer Community Foundation has been on the front lines of this response with our COVID-19 Fund. I am proud of how generosity and hope have shown up big time in our community. Individuals have given – often more than once – to PCF’s relief efforts.

Still, there is a lot of showing up yet to be done. Like everything else in our world, we must shift the way we view and do things, including community philanthropy.

For example, PCF has expanded our list of community needs to include workforce and local business support. In this way, we are encouraging our friends, colleagues and donors to view shopping local as a form of giving. Keeping our dollars local is vital to the health and resiliency of our community. Without them, we all suffer.

Every time a local business shutters, we lose those jobs. We know this.

What’s less obvious are the many threads those businesses embody in the fabric of our community. When your kids’ school has a fundraiser, who are the sponsors? Enjoy the unique character of Old Town Auburn? Imagine a corporate chain restaurant instead of a local one at the corner of Sacramento Street and Lincoln Way.

I know firsthand how businesses like Carpe Vino make it a priority to show up consistently and often to support others in the community. Carpe Vino makes it a priority to contribute goods and services to Placer Community Foundation every year. Many other local businesses do the same for sports teams, service clubs and other nonprofit organizations that make Auburn, Roseville, Rocklin and Loomis the places we love to live.

Another important thread holding our community together is local news media. We are lucky to still have six publications in circulation. The trustworthy and quality reporting provided by Gold Country Media is powered by advertising revenue. The advertisers are local businesses.

Giving in the era of COVID-19 and economic uncertainty should also mean supporting our local newspapers. PCF is doing our part by partnering with Gold Country Media to tell our COVID-19 response stories. PCF’s COVID-19 Response Fund has also contributed a small grant to Gold Country Media’s local news fund. If you can, your charitable dollars are needed here, too.

COVID-19 will continue to challenge us in the months ahead. Let’s show up locally for all who need us. Give to support vulnerable neighbors, and shop to support small businesses.

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