Community Resource Center
Spring fundraiser provides support for victims of abuse
Posted on April 8, 2019
There’s something to be said for time-honored traditions. And like the classic English Tea that makes its annual fundraiser a must on spring calendars, the Community Resource Center has become not only a tradition but also a pillar of the North County community. Hosting its 24th annual English Tea this year on top of its own 40th anniversary, CRC’s mission to address homelessness, food insecurity, and domestic violence is as important today as on its first day.
As one of CRC’s largest annual fundraising events, the English Tea is a significant element to its ongoing services. Featuring a silent auction, donation drawing, and a featured speaker in addition to those essential elements of a traditional tea — baked goods, sandwiches, champagne, and of course, tea — it raised $90,000 and sold out at 230 guests in 2018. This year’s chairs, Sue Dowd and Patricia Moore, are determined to exceed that total.
The Tea’s primary focus is on domestic violence and its victims. In CRC’s 2017-2018 fiscal year alone, it received 1,656 domestic violence calls to its hotline and provided safety to 242 survivors and their children at its emergency shelter. “Domestic violence is not an economic discriminator, and many sufferers have a tough time getting out because of the ties that keep them bound in a situation,” says John Van Cleef, CRC’s executive director. Some services are preliminary — counseling victims on how to prepare to leave an abusive situation. Others are less intuitive, like assisting with caring for a beloved pet while victims are in transition through a partnership with Rancho Coastal Humane Society. And arguably most significantly, providing a safe haven for victims offers the biggest step toward freedom from abuse.
This year’s event, which takes place on April 13 at the Encinitas Community Center, will honor Carol Cianfarani, who first envisioned and then facilitated the creation of that safe haven known as Carol’s House, a 24-bed emergency sanctuary that also provides victims with crucial services like legal advocacy, counseling, and therapy. Now in its 15th year, the shelter was originally built it 2004 through a collaboration between Community Resource Center, HomeAid San Diego, Shea Homes, and Pickford Realty Cares, a charitable foundation established by Prudential California Realty.
Of both the leadership of people like Cianfarani as well as the other thousands of dedicated volunteers who drive the ongoing operation in addition to its staff of 47, Van Cleef is equal parts grateful and proud. “Community Resource Center was borne out of the compassion and capacity of this community to do something about these issues,” he says. “It’s sad that we deal with this in our world and in our culture. What is true, though, is as long as those needs exist, we will work with people in the humanizing, dignifying work of what Community Resource Center does so they can have the life they prefer: stable, safe, secure.” crcncc.org/englishtea Deanna Murphy