Friday, December 30, 2011

Story of Giving from Susan Notheis

I have been involved as an advocate for the Foothill Gold Line Extension public transportation project since 2008. In an effort to provide the San Gabriel Valley with commuter, community and business persons transportation and job opportunities, I have been working to make citizens aware of the benefits of the Gold Line.

I was amazed to learn that the first phase of the line, from Union Station in Los Angeles to the Sierra Madre Villa Station in Pasadena, was completed on-time and under-budget by the Construction Authority in 2003!

I have arranged numerous day trips in 2011 on this portion of the line for family, friends, and co-workers to expose them to the public art, the sites, history, restaurants and shopping available to commuters along the line. One of the most successful trips was a day trip to South Pasadena in April of 2011. Talk about a city with hospitality and pride -- the people at the Chamber of Commerce were amazingly helpful in planning our trip!

These trips have turned many friends and family into enthusiasts for the Gold Line. For my birthday, I was joined by my two young grandchildren on outings using the train, and it is a truly wonderful experience for all of us.

The next phase of the Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa is scheduled to be completed in 2014 with six new stations established in Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and two in Azusa. I cannot wait until I can set up day trips to Claremont.

Public transportation at this level is long overdue in Los Angeles, and I love being a part of this terrific volunteer effort. You can learn more at

Thank you, Tim, and thank you Broadview, for the opportunity to share one of my passions!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Story of Giving from Gary Smith

My story is also about soccer. Southern California is the hotbed of youth soccer in our country, and club soccer is where young boys and girls pursue their dreams while learning life lessons about the value of commitment, hard work, and team work.

Unfortunately, the mantra of club soccer is “for kids who can play and parents who can pay,” since club fees are typically $1,000 - $3,000 per player per year. Our Foothill Storm team is now in its third year and is committed to offering high-energy boys from all socioeconomic backgrounds an opportunity to play high-level soccer.

Our coach loves this team so much that he commutes from Riverside to train them. This December, they reached the semifinals of League Cup, which places them among the top four teams among nearly 150 Southern California teams in their under-12 age bracket. It was especially satisfying to play better soccer than teams (like Santa Barbara) with expensive uniforms and gear. We saw a team from Yorba Linda (the highest-income city in Orange County) chauffeured to this month-long tournament in San Bernardino in a limousine! Our boys have three-year-old uniforms that are too small and falling apart and no limousine, but they can play soccer.

I have managed this team since its inception and the only way we can make this magic work is through fundraising—finding people who can afford to donate a few dollars to our nonprofit organization. A dollar here, a dollar there, and by the end of the year we’ve paid our modest bills (barely).

Now our boys are turning 12 and we are finally going to have to replace those uniforms they have been wearing since they were 9 years old. But first we have to find the money to pay for them.

Story of Giving from Bill Corrette

The plight of the orphan has always weighed heavily on my heart. In 1984, I was involved in a mission trip with a small group affiliated with the La Verne Heights Presbyterian Church (LVHPC) that changed my life. We traveled to Mexico to a small town known as Colonia Vicente Guerrero where we served as volunteers at a newly formed orphanage known then as Casa Hogar Bien Venido, “Welcome Home Orphanage.” My life has never been the same since. For eight years after that I worked with a group of dedicated and selfless people to serve the orphans at this home. We started a ministry group at LVHPC known as the Mexico Orphanage Mission Team (MOM). During those years this ministry group made regular trips to Welcome Orphanage, performing construction projects, transporting food and supplies, coordinated and guided mission teams from all over the United States, and provided health care for the children there. During this time I served on the U.S. Board of Directors for six years in addition to serving on this local ministry team.

In 1995 my Pastor introduced me to Stephen Githumbi who was forming a new orphanage in Kenya, African known as Providence Children’s Home. Stephen stepped into the role to fulfill his brother Joram’s vision to start an orphanage in Africa after he suddenly passed away from cancer. Stephen knew of my involvement with Welcome Home and asked if I would become a part of a team to start Providence Children’s Home. I traveled to Houston, Texas where I met with a group of people who had just formed a Providence U.S. Board to get this ministry off the ground, and I was overwhelmed by this group’s heart and passion to serve orphans. I learned and experienced firsthand how HIV AIDS was destroying a nation and how the children were suffering as a result of losing parents to this horrible disease. It was not difficult for me to hear God’s calling in all of this and I have been a part of this ministry ever since. We formed another ministry group around this mission at LVHPC and I am involved on the U.S. Board, serving as the Treasurer at this time.

Providence Children’s Home is located in the Ngong Hills outside of Nairobi. We have a school (1st thru 12th grade) that serves over 500 children, a newly constructed health clinic that was funded through the efforts of Dr. Peter White, a Doctor whose practice is in Upland, and we have an orphanage on site that provides a home for twenty-six girls who are orphaned due to HIV AIDS. We are in the process of constructing a second orphan home and are close to completing that project. This new facility will provide a home for twenty more orphans.

There is a huge need in Kenya for the children who suffer. The death rate among children is unbelievable. Some have said to me that “we need to take care of our own here in the U.S. first.” If one could only experience the horrors of living in the Kibura Slum outside of Nairobi, we would never compare the two again. That is not to say that we don’t have a need to help children in our own communities. I work at a local school where I personally witness these needs, but in Africa, children die daily of starvation and disease with no one able to offer help. It is a heart-wrenching experience that will never leave you the same once you have witnessed it. Many of the girls whose lives have been saved at Providence Children’s Home are from the Kibura Slum.

A group of local people from our community will be traveling to Providence Children’s Home this June to build a basketball court, construct library shelving, provide educational experiences at the school, and to work with and take the orphanage girls on a field trip, to name just a few of the projects. I pray that if my story is selected, that the award money would go toward these projects.

Respectfully Submitted,
William H. Corrette, Treasurer
Providence Children’s Home

Friday, December 23, 2011

Story of Giving from Jeannie Anderson

I was that child. The child who gratefully received strangers into her home, strangers who came with presents and food for the holidays. A knock at the door, then smiles and kind voices. Brown bags of groceries were stacked on the table next to colorfully wrapped boxes. The three of us danced around the legs of the adults as they shook hands, my mother tearful and thankful.

As an adult I now realize how poor my family was, but as a child I loved this time of year. My belly was always full and our home felt truly blessed. My mother told me that there were people who cared about us so much that they gave from their own homes. I thought of them as my neighbors, although I didn't know who they were. I would try to picture them. Did they have a big family? Were there children my age?

These memories are close to my heart and I carry them with me as I volunteer in my community. Most of us have very little control over the big picture - the politics of the world, but our individual choices leave footprints in the lives of our friends and families. My synagogue and my local community are part of my family and I choose to honor them through my commitment, serving on the Board at my synagogue as Vice President of Social Action for the last three years. There are individuals within my extended family who are less fortunate, who struggle financially, who live pay check to pay check - good people, who need help. I organize food drives, raise funds for the local food bank, and personally make food deliveries. Last year I ran a "Diaper Drive" through my work and the year before it was a Toy Drive.

And every time I give, I think of that child. And it's like I'm giving to myself.

Happy Holidays.

Story of Giving from Sarah Gale

They have been playing soccer for over 20 years, but you have probably never heard of them. Their names aren’t Beckham or Hamm or Donovan. They are kids with special needs who just want to play soccer.

This program is called V.I.P and it was founded by AYSO, American Youth Soccer Organization. It has been around for 20 years, but was started in my city this year.

I’m a buddy. Buddies come to games and practices and partner up with the kids and help them play. The team I’m with is called the Red Vipers. One of my good friends comes out with her brother, who has a speech impairment. They kids have grown on me even if I have no siblings on the team.

One little girl has autism and she’s an amazing little player. Another is blind; she can’t see anything yet she is still out there playing soccer.

This experience has been absolutely amazing. Not just for me but for the kids as well. I have gotten so much out of this experience. I love to help and this is the best way. It lets me do two of my favorite things: playing soccer, helping, and teaching.

Story of Giving from Rochelle Armijo

I was excited to be invited to enter into drawing to be given to my favorite charity. Hats off to Broadview Mortgage who continues to amaze me as their customer and as strong community supporter.

I am a proud member of the Claremont High School Instrumental Music Boosters a non profit organization. Last year when my son joined marching band, I became concerned when I saw the program was unable to meet their basic operating costs let alone addressing other needs for new music, instrument repair, replacement of 20 years old uniforms and etc. It was then I agreed to be the Booster Fundraising Manager. I have coordinated several events spending numerous hours behind the scenes. I do this because I know I am not alone. I am grateful for the parents who share a common vision. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the students. At each event, the music students are there working as a team doing whatever it takes to set up, clean up and perform to help make their event successful. I enjoy volunteering for this non-profit as I know the benefits will help the children today and in the future.

Wishing you many blessings in 2012.