El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center Chosen as a 2021 Nonprofit of the Year

San Bernardino, Calif. – July 19, 2021 – El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center is proud to announce it has been selected as a 2021 California Nonprofit of the Year by Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes.

El Sol is one of more than one hundred nonprofits that will be honored by their state senators and assemblymembers for their tremendous contributions to the communities they serve. The organization was recognized for its work to increase COVID-19 vaccine access and overcome vaccine hesitancy with a focus on mono-lingual Spanish speakers, immigrants, and residents with limited-English proficiency.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, El Sol leveraged the power of community health workers and promotores de salud to reach and meet the unique needs of the region’s diverse communities, which included addressing vaccine hesitancy and overcoming access barriers. These community health workers serve as trusted messengers, often sharing the language, culture and socioeconomic needs of the people they serve. The center also extended its outreach efforts with a wide array of digital and virtual tools.

“Staff and volunteers at El Sol work tirelessly to ensure everyone we serve can get vaccinated against COVID-19, and we are deeply humbled to be recognized by Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes as a 2021 Nonprofit of the Year,” comments Alexander Fajardo, executive director of El Sol.

 “The pandemic and shelter-in-place orders of the past year and a half have put nonprofits  – usually hidden in plain sight – in the spotlight,” explains Jan Masaoka, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits). “California Nonprofit of the Year 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.”

Additional Background

California Nonprofits Day, now in its sixth year, was formally recognized by 2021 Assembly Concurrent Resolution 80, authored by Assemblymember Luz Rivas, and co-authored by Senator Monique Limón. Each year legislators from across California have chosen a Nonprofit of the Year in their district.

Traditionally, honorees and legislators are invited by CalNonprofits, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector Senator Monique Limón (Santa Barbara), and Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector Assemblymember Luz Rivas to a celebratory luncheon on California Nonprofits Day. This year, like 2020, the luncheon was canceled in response to pandemic restrictions, but legislators moved forward with honoring nonprofits doing great work in their districts.

According to “Causes Count,” a 2019 report commissioned by CalNonprofits, the nonprofit sector is the 4th largest industry in the state, employing more than 1.2 million people. Each year, California nonprofits generate more than $273 billion in revenue and bring in $40 billion in revenue from outside of California. The unpaid labor contributed by volunteers at nonprofits is equivalent to 330,000 full-time jobs every year.

To learn more about or support El Sol’s work in the Inland Empire, visit https://www.elsolnec.org/.  More information on COVID-19, vaccines and the state’s efforts to reach vulnerable communities can be found at www.vaccinateall58.com

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