This is what Ventura Strong really means.

sunset photo by West Cooke

sunset photo by West Cooke

by Fiorella Calderoni

We asked. You answered. And we couldn’t agree more. Here is what Ventura Strong is all about.

It’s about coming together

  • Having lived in Ventura County my entire life, I think Ventura Strong means all walks of life coming together for the love of a community: a bonding, a changing, and ultimately a healing process sparked not by a fire, but by love for one another. (@jeeves1729)
  • The way that the 805 community takes care of one another and helps in time of need. We have such loving members of this community that give back in any way they can, be it through service, a helping hand, or always having positive attitudes in tough times. These recent tough times have really shown the greatness of Ventura County as a whole. I’m proud to call myself an 805 native. (@jessblanch2)
  • Ventura Strong means pride & love for our community. We are a big city with a small town feel & we all need to help one another regrow & rebuilding. (@jylleebean)
  • It is coming together getting through it together and regrowing it together!! (@metrinadina)
  • Ventura Strong means you are always here for your community whether it’s in need of something great or just some positive vibes! (@sophaloaf459)
  • Ventura strong, people calling on friends in the community to help go to their parent’s house to water down their home while the parents are overseas. Waking my boys up early every morning during the fire and rushing over to the grocery store to buy donated items to the shelters, helping strangers but people who live in OUR town with clothes, food, home goods without asking for anything in return. Volunteering at animal shelters because they are overcrowded with animals who have been affected by the fires. Countless hours of helping in any way you can while firefighters and first responders are risking their lives to save memories of homes. (@queenbd13)

Firefighters in Ventura

It’s about new ever-lasting bonds

  • Ventura strong means so much to me. After my mom lost her home in the fire it seemed impossible to have hope but within hours of the tragedy friends, family and complete strangers came to the aid of my family and continue to do so, even months after. Ventura strong means no one is alone ❤ I’m thankful to all the amazing people who continue to keep Ventura thriving! (@tttialouise)
  • Having friends feel like family when they take you in at 2am in the morning! (@adventurebecca)
  • Building stronger bonds and friendships with my neighbors! We’re so isolated these days as human beings. Ventura already bucked that trend, but I’ve never felt so much kindness from a community since I have after the fire. (@el.es.be)
  • Ventura Strong means open hearts, open arms and offering a helping hand or shoulder to cry on whether it’s your friend, a family member or stranger in need. Whatever it takes, this community will come out of this trying time stronger than ever! 💜 (@mconeill99)
  • Ventura Strong is when your neighbor saves your life by knocking on your door to wake you up when the fire is rapidly approaching. Ventura strong is all of the restaurants who gave food to the first responders and those affected. It’s all the donations that poured in, and the people who took in friends. Ventura strong means standing back up after getting hit, and helping those who can’t get up on their own. Ventura strong is going back to your neighborhood once the evacuation has lifted to see someone put up positive signs everywhere. “Don’t give up” “Love” “You can do it”. Ventura strong is everybody gathering at this event because you can’t burn down love and you can’t burn down music. Ventura cannot be burned down. Because we are a community and we are strong. (@mollymuse)
  • #VenturaStrong is the feeling we all had looking eastward on December 4. It is reconnecting with high school friends and peers, old neighbors, and random people with the common love of Ventura and the will to do whatever it takes to have our #NewNormal. (@kalani.villegas@dj.rose)
  • Ventura Strong is realizing that everyone has a story from the trauma of the fires and as those smoky days continued, time seeming to be at a crawl, people were out and about, talking to strangers, listening and telling their stories. It was the start of the healing process and the healing process as a community is what makes us Ventura Strong.❤ (@creativefultracy)

It’s about community

  • Ventura Strong to me means that as a community we bond together and can withstand any hardship put before us. In a way, the city of Ventura is like one big family, that when faced with the most difficult situations, stands strong and stands together to overcome anything and everything. Our city is filled with people from all walks of life that are willing to lift one another up in times of need. That’s what makes Ventura an amazing and one of a kind place to live, that’s what makes us #VenturaStrong (@gabbyisrauso)

  • Ventura Strong means community. It means coming together and rallying for our neighbors. Having benefits like this and so many more have helped but it’s the people. It’s the people participating in these events and giving back any way they can. I know I gave all I could even without having a lot to give. Every bit makes a difference. (@omichellez)
  • It means to me: When we, as a community, lend a helping hand & come together at tragic moments like the Thomas Fire. It amazes me how giving everyone can be even when this unexpected moment happens around Christmas time & budgets are tight… Ventura didn’t think twice about reaching into their pockets and not only donating monetary gifts as well as their precious time❤ (@melinda_garibaldi)
  • To me, Ventura Strong means being there for my community during good and bad times. Helping and supporting in any way we can. Ventura is such a special place for so many of us. It’s not only home, but a piece of our heart ❤ (@torilovee)
  • Born and raised in Ventura, I have never appreciated or loved our town more than I do now! I’ve always thought we were a small close community, where you can literally go anywhere and know someone and that is a great feeling. Seeing our community come together, support each other and inspire others to help is what I think Ventura strong is all about! (@evie0624)
  • Ventura Strong to me is knowing that no matter what happens, I’ll have a beautiful community right there behind me if I ever need help. That I could lose everything and know that I’ll have help at the end of the day. Ventura Strong is a proof of a beautiful and powerful community. (@mirandariddle)
  • It means community and love and the realization that we live in a place unlike any other. 🌊 (@aubreyd08@blkwil)

  • Ventura Strong means Community to me. A sense of community can emerge from experiences we did not choose. Often people thrown together by some disaster or adversity report that it somehow brought them very close to each other. Many of us can testify to this. It requires a commitment to be with, to face and respond to each other. And that takes work, time, and a desire to discover more than we know, more than we want to ‘get’ from each other. (@irambrown)
  • Ventura Strong signifies the strength of our community. We work hard, play harder, love hardest of all and continue to thrive despite being faced with adversities. We come together to help our families, our neighbors, and our friends to make sure we all rise together and that no one is left behind or wanting. I am proud to have grown up and continue to live out my days in Ventura, as people truly do care about each other. ❤ (@wabbit05)

It’s about growing stronger than before

  • Ventura Strong means everyone coming together and taking care of each other and coming back and healing better than ever💪😇💜🙏🕊 (@carolparker13)
  • Being Ventura strong means being bigger and stronger than our worst storms. 🌊 We do this by helping others, looking for the positives and never giving up! (@heidi_hachtman)
  • #VenturaStrong is the resilience in each of us and putting your neighbor’s needs before your own. It’s what makes me so proud to call #ventura home! 💜 (@mamalosing)
  • V-ibrant E-xqusite N-oble T-hriving U-unique R-espected A-ppreciation S-upporting T-eam R-emarkable O-utstanding N-amaste G-iving VENTURA STRONG 💪👊🇺🇸 Just a few words that remind me daily, of our beautiful city! Without the love and support from our fellow citizens we could and would never recover from such tragedy. We will overcome. We will rebuild. We will all come together as a whole. Much love to all the people of VENTURA 💜🖤 (@mama2_2boys1girl)

Some of Ventura’s best-known locals also took a shot at defining Ventura Strong. Watch the playlist below for exclusive interviews with Kevin Costner, Super Duper Kyle, a Ventura City Fire Captain, Scotty Morris of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and more!

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