The challenges of 2020 continue to be immense for the local community and the world. In the midst of a global pandemic, calls for racial and social justice, and an economic recession taxing safety-net services for the most vulnerable, bright spots shine through.

Everyday people are working behind the scenes to care for neighbors and meet the needs of our community. Among those stepping up are local nonprofits, all of which are doing more with less, even as demand for their services has soared.

Trinity Episcopal Church’s Justice and Outreach Council (JOC) commends those groups for their creativity and commitment.

The JOC issues year-end grants to local groups doing crucial work to serve the most vulnerable. In response to this year’s unique challenges, the JOC worked to identify groups serving the most vulnerable, working for racial justice, serving students, building a more just society, prioritizing mental health and addressing food insecurity.

In total, more than $30,000 in financial support is being disbursed among six community organizations:

» Healing Justice Santa Barbara (Black Lives Matter) — Supporting the nonprofit’s work to dismantle racism and build resilient communities for the African diaspora and other marginalized people along the Central Coast.

 » 805 Undocufund — Bolstering the organization’s effort to provide financial support to undocumented people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including those who have lost homes, wages and/or employment.

» CAUSE (Central Coast Alliance for a Sustainable Economy) — Supporting the organization’s commitment to social, economic, and environmental justice for working-class and immigrant communities in California’s Central Coast.

» Food Bank Santa Barbara County — Facilitating the distribution of food to those experiencing food insecurity in Santa Barbara County.

» Mental Wellness Center — Strengthening access to mental health services and resources.

» Harding School Foundation — Supporting children and classrooms at Harding University Partnership School reaching their full potential.

These groups have gone above and beyond over the past 12 months, and their work inspires all of us to remain committed to the work ahead.

The JOC’s mission revolves around putting “faith and consciousness into action,” and exists to “promote empowerment, enhance human dignity and show compassion and solidarity with those in need through partnering, volunteerism and financial assistance… to serve those who are marginalized and manifest God’s love in our community and the world.”

As this year comes to a close, the JOC is deeply grateful to these groups, and all who work to help others, in this challenging time.