“It’s a great phone call to get,” said Michelle Decker, IECF President and CEO. She was referring to calls from potential new donors to the Inland Empire. This time, it was a Board Director of the Larry and Helen Hoag Foundation, Darren Freeman.

“I was looking for a way to give some funds to Inland Empire organizations. My father, chair of the board, Douglas Freeman, knew to call the Inland Empire Community Foundation,” said Darren.

The mission of The Larry and Helen Hoag Foundation is to educate, empower and create greater opportunity for at-risk children to become independent, productive and contributing members of society. They also support medical research and technology to enhance the health and well-being of children.

“I work at UC Riverside Health in the Neurology Center. Now that I am here, I am seeing the issues and needs. Historically we give in Orange County, and that’s a great legacy we will continue, but expanding to the Inland Empire makes a lot of sense,” said Darren.

IECF frequently responds to donors who want to understand what organizations are working in the Inland Empire, especially around the causes they care about. For the Larry and Helen Hoag Foundation, staff produced a list of 36 organizations to choose from, and 10 were selected for $10,000 grants. They are:

  • Youth Action Project
  • Girls and Boys Club of Redlands & Riverside
  • Girls and Boys Club Temecula
  • Inland Empire Autism Society
  • Riverside Art Museum
  • Sigma Beta Xi Family Services
  • One Future Coachella Valley
  • Making Hope Happen Foundation
  • Olive Crest
  • IECF Youth Grantmakers

The Board of Directors are highly focused on youth and their pathways to jobs and college, including workforce training and educational programming to help children find their passion. They also support children’s causes and understand that for low income children COVID has been a new and painful struggle.

“On any given day, there are a few donors looking to give, and many organizations seeking support. Any part IECF can play to match donors with organizations is well worth it. Those relationships will blossom over time and our philanthropic dollars will grow,” said Decker.

“In 2022, I hope we can create a major initiative for children in the Inland Empire,” said Darren. “The need is there, but also some incredible organizations to work with.”

Have a favorite cause you want to support in the IE? Partner with IECF by contacting the Charitable Giving Team at 951.241.7777.

Skip to content