805HELP has been selected as a 2019 California Nonprofit of the Year by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson. 805HELP Founder Emily Barany traveled to Sacramento, joining 100 other California-based nonprofits also receiving this prestigious recognition, as part of California Nonprofits Day on June 5th.
Now in its fourth year, California Nonprofits Day was formally recognized by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 62, authored by the chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector, Assemblywoman Monique Limón. The day is organized each year by Assemblymember Limón and CalNonprofits. “Nonprofits are often hidden in plain sight,” explains Jan Masaoka, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits). “California Nonprofits Day is an opportunity for our elected officials to celebrate the good work they see nonprofits doing in their districts, and for everyone to appreciate the collective impact of nonprofits in our communities.”
“If you had asked me 18 months ago what I’d be doing today, I could not have guessed it would be starting a nonprofit,” commented Emily Barany, 805HELP founder and owner of VISIONALITY, a consulting firm helping nonprofits transform vision into reality. “Who could’ve imagined back then the rapid succession of the tragedies our communities would be facing? What keeps me going are the stories. Like Wiley, a Thomas Fire survivor who lost everything and simply needed a pair of shoes. Or, an eight-year-old girl with brain cancer who we flew on our all-volunteer airline over highway 101, closed due to mudslides, for a critical appointment with her cardiologist at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles.”
Barany continued, “Being recognized as Nonprofit of the Year by Senator Jackson is an honor and lets me know that what are on the right track. I really feel like what we’ve built here in our community is needed globally and I’m inspired to scale our support for the recovery of communities around the world.”
805HELP began as ThomasFireHelp in December 2017 rising from of the immediate and desperate needs of local citizens in the Ventura and Santa Barbara communities who were facing disasters of unprecedented scale and destruction. Within six months of the Thomas Fire and resulting Montecito Debris Flow, the community suffered another catastrophic blow from the Holiday Fire that broke out in Goleta in July 2018. Six months later in November 2018, the Woolsey Fire began in eastern Ventura County only one day after the tragic and senseless Thousand Oaks Borderline Mass Shooting where 12 lives were lost and countless others devastated. It became clear that ThomasFireHelp needed to expand its service of connecting resources and help with need and 805HELP was born.