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Santa Monica Raised $162,000 for Local Relief Efforts During Shutdown

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Lookout Staff

May 24, 2021 -- Approximately $162,000 was collected over six months to assist Santa Monica's relief efforts during the coronavirus shutdown, according to a report to the City Council this month.

The donations -- totaling $162,049.73 -- include both monetary and in-kind donations made to the City and the We Are Santa Monica Fund through September 30 of last year.

Of that amount, $106,182.70 was donated to the City and $55,867.03 to the fund, according to an information item sent to the City Council on May 14.

"Donations made directly to the City are utilized or distributed by the City of Santa Monica or distributed to community non-profits," according to the report from Debbie Lee, the City's chief communications officer.

"Donations to the We Are Santa Monica Fund are distributed though CCF (California Community Foundation) directly to community non-profit organizations," Lee said.

Half of the total raised -- $81,182.70 -- has been made in the form of in-kind donations to the City, according to the report.

This includes $17,500-worth of organic produce donated by Cedars Sinai to the Virginia Avenue Park food pantry, as well as $18,750-worth of produce donated to the pantry by Sunrise Produce via Santa Monica College (SMC).

The City also received a total of $25,000 in cash donations, according to the report.

In the three months between July 1 and September 30, the We Are Santa Monica fund received ten cash contributions totaling $2,393.68.

The largest donations were made by Mayor Sue Himmelrich and James Cherry, who each contributed $500, according to the report.

The fund was initially established to assist with "projects related to COVID-19 emergency and relief" but was expanded to "allow funds to be granted for relief from losses related to the looting and civil unrest of May 31, 2020," the report said.

Eligible uses for the Fund proceeds for COVID-19 relief include distributing food or supplies such as masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning products to the needy.

Funding was also used to support medical assistance in connection with the COVID-19 emergency to those in need, as well as technical assistance to apply for resources available from other sources.

In addition, the funds help support "volunteers conducting the mission of the organization, such as background checks, uniforms, and food," the report said.

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