It’s not often you get a visit from Washington, DC – but we did Friday!
In addition to our own close relationship with the United Way of Ventura County, we have developed a positive partnership with leadership from United Way Worldwide, headquartered in Washington, DC. This has developed over the last two years as 2-1-1 Ventura has been increasingly involved in national 2-1-1 development efforts. Why you ask? Well, the big ideas and big investment money is at the Federal level, and alongside our own local United Way, and United Ways of California, we believe this is an opportunity to get Federal dollars to flow in support of 2-1-1’s everywhere, including to Ventura!
United Way Worldwide has created a new VP position dedicated to their national development commitment to 2-1-1. So on Friday, Eric Harrison, our United Way Ventura County CEO, Pete Manzo, CEO of United Ways of California and I were pleased to have Russ Paulson, 2-1-1 VP at United Way Worldwide visit our 2-1-1 Ventura operations, in his first three weeks on the job! This speaks to the growing significance that California 2-1-1’s and our local work in particular has in the national dialogues to develop 2-1-1’s across the country. We all see the amazing value in developing the 2-1-1 system to help support many, many national efforts – think homelessness, health care reform, prison reform, poverty, domestic violence, youth development, etc. The beauty of 2-1-1 is that it can be part of the infrastructure for any and all of these issues. At Interface we see the real benefit of joining with other 2-1-1’s nationally and across Canada to realize some of the far reaching benefits that 2-1-1 can and will bring to our national health and human service system.
At Interface we see the real benefit of joining with other 2-1-1’s nationally and across Canada to realize some of the far reaching benefits that 2-1-1 can and will bring to our national health and human service system.
Join me in thanking our local United Way of Ventura County for being one of our enduring, founding partners, representing investments and leadership that is mirrored nationally by United Way Worldwide for the betterment of people in need. We’re proud to be given United Way’s national attention, and proud to represent Ventura in bringing innovation, high quality and integrity to the national 2-1-1 table as we all plan for an exciting future.
We’re all better together!
Erik Sternad, Executive Director, Interface Children & Family Services