FSBCS dba Community Builders Resource Network (CBRN)

The First Southern Baptist Church of Sylmar (FSBCS), who is the sponsoring partner of this initiative, began a food pantry immediately after the Northridge earthquake in ’94, as a distributor for FEMA. Since the need to assist the hungry didn’t end once the infrastructure was repaired, neither did the FSBCS. The church is quite small; in fact, it averages less than 50 people a week for its Sunday service — yet it provides food to an average of 5,000 people per month. It manages to do this week after week, month after month, year after year — with a workforce comprised entirely of volunteers. There are no administrative costs or overhead. This has been done by effectively collaborating with a host of other community organizations from withing the public and private sectors. As continued recipients of Federal resources, the boundaries between Church and State are clearly understood and respected.


1 Submitted Idea

  • 2013 Grants Challenge

    Community Builders Resource Network (CBRN)

    The idea is to identify organizations that are actively engaged in service to their communities, and to increase their effectiveness through interconnectedness, training and support. Social connectedness, put simply, measures how people come together and interact. Believing that relationship development is one of the best means that any person or group can use to gain access to resources, we are starting the Community Builders Resource Network (CBRN). What will CBRN do exactly? It will make good organizations better. It will do this by providing training in the areas most critical to organizational success: Strategic Planning, Leadership Development, Teambuilding, Compassionate Communication, and Effective Fundraising. As a coalition of the willing – access to training will be made open to any group or organization (regardless of political, religious or sexual alignment) purposed to relieve suffering. Training will be made available for free and offered in both Spanish and English. Knowing that volunteers often play an integral role in these groups – training and workshops will be offered to accommodate a variety of schedules and will include evening and weekend opportunities. A foundation from which to build a better LA already exists. By identifying and creating a collaborative network for the already existing 501(c)3 organizations within a community – beginning with service organizations, educational facilities, and faith based organizations – we can better identify a community’s resources and thus better meet that community’s needs. There are a number of faith based organizations in my neighborhood that sit largely unpurposed during the week. Wonderful facilities with classrooms, kitchens, bathrooms and open areas that could offer any number of community services, such as: childcare, afterschool programs, ESL, literacy, First Aid, CPR, 12 Step programs, food pantries, vocational training, community gardens, etc. - are awaiting inspiration into more directed usefulness. The development of more effective social connectedness will not be limited to internally collaborative network, however. A better means of connecting these resources to the public needs to be developed and implemented. A user friendly website that serves as resource index to the public will be developed and maintained as part of this initiative. As representative of a food pantry that serves over 5,000 people monthly – and having worked as a volunteer with this organization for over 20 years, I am personally aware of and connected to a half dozen other food pantries in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. However, I just did a Google search of “food pantries San Fernando Valley” and none of these organizations came up. There is a disconnect that desperately needs to addressing – yet the organizations involved are generally running with little to no administrative overhead and are often comprised of volunteers for whom website development is either not a priority, or it lies outside of their budget or skill sets.