Generosity Changes Everything
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Generosity changes everything. This sentence is a driving force behind the Bay Area Community Foundation’s (BACF) everyday actions and a reminder that each of us can make a powerful impact through the gift of kindness.
Throughout the year, challenges presented by the pandemic continued, forcing all to make sacrifices, accept struggles and push forward when things felt scary and uncertain. We were inspired by our donors, volunteers and staff who have demonstrated unwavering resilience and dedication to the Bay Area community.
The pandemic magnified and further exposed social and economic inequalities present within our community. BACF’s goal is a community where all people feel welcome and have the opportunity to thrive. So, we engaged with Saginaw Valley State University, in collaboration with close to 20 community organizations, to launch a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Community Assessment to identify what is being done well and what areas can be strengthened within our community.
We also shifted gears with the COVID Emergency Response Coalition, which previously focused on rapid deployment of resources to respond to emergency needs, to efforts to increase vaccination rates and longer-term planning for our community’s recovery. For example, childcare was identified as a barrier for families re-entering the workforce. We provided funding to the Bay Arenac Intermediate School District and The Legacy Center for Community Success to conduct a childcare capacity study for a fact-based analysis of the state of childcare in Bay County. This report will guide our work in the years ahead.
Amid trouble and hardship, we saw resounding generosity. Through an estate gift from Garnett and Elmie Compeau, we unveiled a matching grant opportunity – the Garnett and Elmie Compeau Challenge – to honor their kindness and passion for giving. Our hope was that their gift would spark a generous spirit in others, and it did. Twelve families stepped forward to create a permanent source of capital to respond to our community’s most pressing needs and promising opportunities. An additional 11 funds were created by individuals, families and organizations for a variety of purposes. The common theme among all these funds is a love of neighbors, community and the desire to care for Bay and Arenac counties far into the future.
We are proud to say that your community foundation is emerging from this crisis stronger and better prepared to serve the people of Bay and Arenac counties. Through trust, partnership and unsparing generosity, we can change things for the better.
Generosity changes everything,
Diane Fong and Ellen Charlebois
BACF President & CEO and Board Chair