Throughout their lives, David and Lucile Packard invested in their local community where they were born, started their company, and raised their family. They believed this investment would help their communities thrive and drive change where it was needed most. It is also a core reason why the Packard Foundation has supported local communities in deep and meaningful ways for the past 50 years—working with many long-term partners to support the well-being of local children and families, conserve land, and sustain the arts.
Today, our Local Grantmaking Program continues to build on David and Lucile’s commitment to community by making investments in the five counties of San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey—as well as Pueblo, Colorado, the birthplace of David Packard. Each year, our Local Program proudly collaborates with over 200 partners working on a range of issues. Our grantmaking is guided by the belief that a thriving community is one where people have the resources and services they need for their daily well-being, as well as for opportunities that enable them to explore and grow.
On October 22, 2014, the Foundation hosted an open house for nearly 500 neighbors, grantees, and partners at our Los Altos headquarters. Together, we celebrated 50 years of working together to strengthen our local communities. That afternoon, we were thrilled to announce the winners of Building Vibrant Communities: Activating Empathy to Create Change, a community competition sponsored by our Local Grantmaking Program and conducted in partnership with Ashoka Changemakers. As part of the competition, organizations proposed new ways to cultivate empathy skills to strengthen communities and equip young people to become leaders of change. Empathy—seeing the world through other’s eyes—is critical to understanding each other’s needs, desires and challenges, and thus, enabling communities to thrive. We are grateful to the 212 organizations that entered the competition and generously shared their ideas to create change in our local communities. You can read about the six organizations selected to receive competition prizes here.
Finally, thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with us. It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many friends, neighbors, and local partners. And if you were unable to attend, you can see some pictures from the day through our Facebook page and take a look at our Twitter feed where we captured the spirit of the event through both photos and some live tweeting using the hashtag #PackardLocal.
We look forward to many more years of working in partnership with you to help our local communities to be strong and vibrant places where all people can thrive.