Minutes from October 11, 2016 Open Board Meeting-Children’s Fund

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Open Board of Directors Meeting

San Bernardino Community College District
114 S. Del Rosa Drive
San Bernardino, CA 92408


Present: Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Carole Beswick, Tom Brickley, Kevin Dyerly, Louis Goodwin, Mark Kaenel, Al Karnig, Lowell King, John Mirau, Dan Murphy, Cid Pinedo, John Prentice, Brian Reider, Michael Rivera, Khalil Saba, Kristine Scott, Steve von Rajcs, and Ray Wolfe.

Guests: Juan Herrera and Roman Nova.

Announcements: 1) – Mark Kaenel and Carole Beswick attended a meeting at the invitation of the Monday Morning Group in an interview with Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym, who has been asked to address Inland Action on October 25, 2016. 2) U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Antony Foxx will be at California State University, San Bernardino, on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, for a meeting with community representatives. Inland Action members are invited to participate.
M/S/P: Minutes from October 4, 2016.
Al Karnig introduced Staci Iverson, President and CEO, Children’s Fund.

The Children’s Fund was created over thirty years ago when Judge Patrick Morris became aware of the enormous needs of children coming through his courtroom which were not being met by public agencies. He engaged in a partnership with Jack Brown and other civic-minded community members to create the Children’s Fund, which has served over 1.4 million children since its incorporation.

The Children’s Fund has four cornerstone programs to provide emergency needs, care campaigns, opportunity, and hope for children in need in San Bernardino County. Through these programs, the Children’s Fund partners with over fifty non-profit and government organizations to provide such items as clothing, shoes, beds, college and university scholarships, and summer and specialized camp experiences to over 3,000 children a year. The objective of these programs is to provide more than items of need, but to get the families on a path toward a better life.

Ms. Iverson discussed their holiday family gift program, which is part of the Care Campaign, that sends a message to children that they are valued and that the community cares about them. She gave examples of how resilient and determined children can be, coming from a tumultuous childhood, yet being able to stay in school, sometimes graduating from college and even obtaining Masters degrees, determined to get into a different life than they have known.

As part of their Hope cornerstone, the Children’s Fund operates the Children’s Assessment Center where victims as sexual and physical abuse can be examined and cared for in a child-friendly environment. The Assessment Center serves about 1,800 children a year and is the only center of its kind in this county. The Assessment Center provides an environment which prevents them from having to go to traditional hospital environments where they must repeatedly re-live what has happened to them. The Assessment Center strives to teach children that there are adults who can be trusted and who care for them. A therapy dog at the Center brings comfort and assurance to the children. This environment allows children the ability to relay what has happened to them in a safe and secure environment. The number of children served at the Center has doubled in last several years from 900 to 1,800 because they have been able to expand their services.

Stressing the economic impact of childhood abuse, Iverson explained that if we do not invest in children early, society pays for it later. A large percentage of prison inmates were abused as children. If we keep one inmate out of prison, we could save $.5 million in societal costs. Many of their clients have shown an interest in giving back, as they remember people who have made a difference in their life and want to be that person for another child.

Individuals can help by providing care campaign support, volunteering, helping to spread the word about the Children’s Fund, or joining the President’s Society. The Children’s Fund depends upon grants, donations, and golf fund raisers. It contracts with First 5 and County departments, which generally covers operational costs, allowing for 100% of donations to go directly to children.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:33 a.m.