Friday, January 15, 2016

Stories of Giving from Joseph Iwobi

I would like to take this moment to talk about my favorite organization the American Diabetic Association (ADA). This organization spreads awareness about diabetes all over the world and also helps advice current diabetes in many areas including diet and exercise. As a non-profit program, the ADA works hard every day to find a cure for diabetes. From the time I was diagnosed with diabetes in my mid-30s, this association has helped me personally in many ways possible. For starters, every month the ADA sends me in the mail subscriptions of their magazine, which inform me of the current events on the fight against diabetes and recipes catered for the needs for a diabetic. They also provided me and other people with diabetes a hotline service which we could contact if I had any questions or needed more information. If it had not be for the ADA I wonder how differently I would be able to cope with diabetes. I cannot express enough thanks to this organization for how much assistance it has given me. The nearest ADA center to me is in San Diego. 5060 Shoreham Place Suite 100 San Diego, California, 92122 Sincerely, Mr. Joseph O. Iwobi

Stories of Giving from Sandra Riley

Dear Members of the HLC Team: I am pleased to nominate San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services, Inc., a non-profit organization, for this year’s “Annual Stories of Giving” award. San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services has served victims (survivors) of sexual assault and domestic violence in San Bernardino County for 41 years. Its programs promote understanding and crisis intervention for victims and their families at no charge and without regard to socio-economic status, gender or ethnic origin. The majority of sexual assault and domestic violence victims are women and children. Children are at particular risk both directly, as intended targets of sexual assaults and violence, and indirectly, when their parents are the victims. Research shows there is a direct correlation between poverty and sexual violence. The city of San Bernardino is the poorest city of its size in California and the poorest in the United States after Detroit. One in three of its residents live below the federal poverty level and 11.2 percent of the population is unemployed. The community continues to suffer in the aftermath of the recession and, most recently, the devastating terrorist attack. Its citizen’s socioeconomic circumstances increased the demand for SBSAS crisis intervention services. Currently, SBSAS employs 15 staff members at multiple locations. In 2014, the agency presented 312 educational programs (including those for youth and teens) to approximately 4,800 individuals. Twenty-eight trained volunteers answered calls made to its crisis hotline. Staff performed the following services: accompanied and advocated for 878 victims when court proceedings were initiated; provided services to 1,177 to victims and their families (351 of which were children) when crisis invention was necessary; and, cooperated with law enforcement in numerous forensic investigations. It is expected these numbers will increase significantly when statistics are compiled for 2015. December 2nd, the horrific day in San Bernardino when terrorist struck, brought new challenges to the organization. So many lives were affected and the community was overwhelmed. SBSAS counselors were among the first responders. They were trained and ready to begin crisis intervention and helping those that needed it the most. Within 5 minutes of receiving notice the “Center” was in lock down SBSAS’ counselors were in their positions. The next 72 hours were filled responding to the needs of victims and their families. Staff traveled to hospitals providing counseling services to those in need; they attended candle light vigils; and, provided additional counseling sessions in the aftermath of the attack. Calls to SBSAS increased after the shootings from the community (at large) who needed empathetic support and someone to talk to about what happened on that terrible day. This assault was personal to community and its fallout will continue for months to come. SBSAS’ team will continue to provide wrap-around services to victims in its community. Thank you for considering San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services as a possible recipient of The HLC Team’s Annual Stories of Giving award. Sincerely, Sandra R. Riley

Stories of Giving from David Sawhill

My daughter began kindergarten at Chaparral Elementary school in 2014 and is currently in first grade. During this time I have learned to appreciate Claremont Unified School District employee Shiela Olson-Pompa. Sheila works as a Noon Duty Aide, an after school Daycare Aide, and works evenings at the high school as a Custodian. Her love for the children and dedication to the school has been obvious for the year and a half I’ve known her, but a new piece of information was recently revealed to me. In October 2015 I found out that Shiela was also coordinating the Chaparral garden on a volunteer basis. She was not getting paid and spending about 3 hours a week maintaining the garden, mostly on the weekends. This effort was to help the children in the after school daycare learn about nature and gardening. It is fun to see the children come to the garden and check on their plants every morning before school begins and after school during the day care enrichment activities. The garden has 10 raised vegetables beds and 11 fruit trees. It‘s just beginning to have the necessary tools, infrastructure, and parental support to allow Shiela to thrive in the garden, rather than get overwhelmed. As a parent volunteer I’ve begun to help Shiela with anything she needs in the garden, but Shiela’s story deserves to be told. From working with children in the mornings and afternoons, as well as cleaning the campus in the evenings, Shiela’s volunteer commitment to a school garden is a fine representation of community service. David Sawhill Chaparral Elementary School - Parent Volunteer

Stories of Giving from Diana Austin

My son, who has shown great courage, struggles with High Functioning Autism and ADHD. In elementary school he did well in his environment, although he did struggled with a great many things beyond learning, such as navigating social environments. When he moved into Middle School he began to fall into the cracks and lost academic and social gains. This is where our Story of Giving begins. I pulled my son out of his school and placed him in Independence Charter Academy in Helendale, Ca. He no longer had to focus on navigating intense social environments and had the help of the wonderful staff on a one on one basis, over and above what was expected to help him meet his academic goals. Their electives give my son the social opportunities that he needs, yet are more meaningful and decidedly more beneficial. He went from failing every class to making academic gains that astound me. He now loves to read, learn new things and takes more social and academic chances, therefore allowing him to experience more than ever before. The school administration and staff have been the catalysts for these social and academic gains, giving of their time and generous care. I believe in what they do with such a passion that I now volunteer as the Drama teacher and ASB advisor, investing my time and energy into a program that reaches far beyond the academic and reaches kids within the community who are at risk, giving them opportunities for success they may not have in any other program or school. Thank you for allowing me to share our Story of Giving, Diana Austin

Stories of Giving from Thierry Brusselle "How I Met Kevin Smith"

Last summer, my wife and I were buying books for our two boys at Barnes and Nobles. There, a young man approached me and asked me if I taught I Chaffey College. After answering yes, he told me that he had been looking forward to meeting me to discuss a major in Business. As we started talking, I noticed that he was holding several books for purchase. After asking him about them, he showed me that he was buying a book on improving one’s grammar, one about career choices, and a thesaurus. Then he shared his story with me. He was born in Compton, California to a drug-addicted single mother. After she lost custody of her son, his grand-mother legally adopted him. This turned out to be the highlight of his life. She instilled hard work, education, and responsibility in Kevin. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with cancer. Young Kevin found himself going to school, working to support his grandmother, paying for her medication, and slowly watching her die. Kevin showed me a small photograph of his grandmother that he keeps in his wallet. Unfortunately, due to wear and tear, the picture was much damaged and yet, this was the most valued possession in Kevin’s life. Kevin was emotional when he showed me the picture and credited her as to the reason he turned out to be who he is today. Kevin was then released to the foster youth system. He navigated the system until he uncle was released from prison in Nevada. Kevin was sent to live with his uncle. This did not last very long and Kevin quickly learned to fend for himself. Today, Kevin is a student in the business program at Chaffey College where he is desperate to be successful. His definition of success is to do well and help others with his skills. In my twenty years of teaching in higher education (Chaffey College, Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State Fullerton), I have never met anyone like him. Kevin is a 21 year old African American student who has more wisdom, gumption and perseverance than anyone I’ve come across. My colleagues and I have all been so inspired by his story that we collectively do what we can to help him. We call him “the forty year old man” because of his maturity and because he is always planning for the future. Kevin now works part time at Chaffey College and take a one hour bus ride to a tiny room that he rents in the back of a business in Ontario. A colleague who was so touched by his story gave him her son’s bicycle before the winter break. My colleagues and I took a collection and, after borrowing his grandmother’s photo from him, had it professionally restored and enlarged. We gifted him the enlarged version in a beautiful frame as well as several small pictures for his wallet. It would mean so much for Kevin to be awarded the $500. It wouldn’t be just the amount, although that would help him greatly with textbooks for the upcoming spring semester. Being awarded the $500 from the HLC Team of Broadview Mortgage would be another boost in confidence for Kevin. He told me that he no longer feels “alone in the world.” I know that the HLC team would see what we see in Kevin if they met him. I hope the team does meet him to award him this generous gift. My wish would be for him to be awarded the $500 gift and being encouraged to come back to the Broadview Mortgage team for an internship after completing a set number of business classes. Respectfully, Thierry Brusselle

Stories of Giving from Rick Sanders (2)

Founded in 1982 by Visionary civic leader Bob Weinberg, The California Highway Patrol 11-99 Foundation provides emergency benefits to California Highway Patrol employees and their families in times of crisis. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $27 million in assistance to current, retired and Fallen in the Line of Duty CHP employees and their families. The important work of the Foundation has been enabled through the generosity of tens of thousands of individual donors and volunteers and by institutional grant funding. To learn how you can assist and participate, click Learn About Membership or Make a Donation. “The CHP 11-99 Foundation’s impact has been far reaching beyond my dreams of a decade ago. I see the Foundation's creation and growth as one of my principal successes in life.” — Bob Weinberg (1925-1992) Founder, CHP 11-99 Foundation My first career of nearly 30 years was with the Ca. Hwy Patrol. During my career, 56 officers lost their life. I witnessed first hand the amazing help and benefits the 111-99 foundation provided to some of these officers families immediately. Furthermore, they help current members children with educational scholarships. Putting this together makes me a little emotional. I am blessed that I made it to retirement without serious injury or worse. I encourage you to share the story of the 11-99 Foundation. They do amazing work with the funds received. Rick Sanders

Stories of Giving from Rick Sanders (1)

This foundation keeps the memories of 7 crew members who died serving our country, and continues to help military families. Lt. Jared Landaker was from Big Bear CA and a graduate of the University of La Verne. 7 STARS FOUNDATION The Seven Stars Foundation, Inc. was established on 2-7-2007, in honor of the 7 crew members on a US Marine Corps CH-46 Casevac helicopter that was shot down in Iraq, killing all on board. MISSION STATEMENT To make a positive impact on the children of both Wounded and Fallen military personnel through financial, emotional, and educational assistance. Every year the Seven Stars Foundation sends children of the Fallen, Wounded or Active military to Camp Whittle in Big Bear. The children get to spend a week enjoying outdoor activities and making new friends. We thank you for your support. We will never forget... Jared Michael-Vincent Landaker was born to Joe and Laura Landaker at their home in Madera, CA on May 3, 1981. His parents moved to Big Bear City, CA when his father transferred to Running Springs, CA with the California Highway Patrol. Jared attended school in Big Bear Valley where he excelled in soccer, baseball, and football. In his 1998 season, he was chosen as all CIF defensive back for the Big Bear High School Bears and was selected to play in Hawaii his senior year. Upon graduation from high school, Jared enrolled at the University of La Verne in California where he graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Physics. After the 9-11 attack, Jared felt a sense of duty and elected to OCS in the United States Marine Corps upon graduation. While attending college, Jared began to take Platoon Leaders Courses on his summer break between his Junior and Senior years of college. Following graduation in 2003, Jared accepted his Commission in the United States Marines as a 2nd Lt. and began his training in Quantico, Virginia at The Basic School. Upon completion of TBS, Jared transferred to Pensacola, Florida for flight school, where he excelled and graduated at the top of his class. Jared completed school by being named in the top 5% of all students and a position on the Commodore's list. During his time at flight school, Jared opted to fly helicopters instead of flying jets. He stated "he wanted to fly Marines in, but more importantly fly them out". Jared reported to Camp Pendleton, California to train in the CH-46 medium helicopter with Squadron HMMT-164. After completion of his training, he reported to HMM-364, the "World Famous Purple Foxes" where he also became their S2 (Officer Intelligence Officer). On August 18, 2006, Lt. Landaker deployed to the Al Anbar Province in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While there, Lt. Landaker would complete his HAC qualification early with a total of 496 hours to become a "Helicopter Aircraft Commander". Jared was selected to depart Iraq early to attend Weapons and Tactical School in Yuma, AZ for training as a WTI Instructor. With only a week left in Iraq, his crewmembers received a call that three Marines were wounded and needed a Cas-e-Vac flight. With his flight crew and Corpsmen on board, they picked up the wounded and delivered them to Balad Hospital. Upon the return flight to their base, they were requested to pick up some blood and transport it to the hospital in Fallujah. During this flight they received machine gun fire and rocket fire resulting in the downing of the helicopter and killing all on board. On February 7, 2007, Lt. Jared M. Landaker and his crew of six were KIA in Karmah, Iraq. On February 17, 2007, Jared was laid to rest at the Riverside Veterans Cemetery in Riverside, CA. His father, Joe, a Vietnam Marine stated ""He did more in 25 years than most of us will do in 75 years." “ He always wanted to fly,” said Luke Wagner, a friend since their days as freshmen at Big Bear High. “Flying and helping others were his passions, and that’s what he was doing in Iraq every day.” “What he was doing everyday was waiting for a buzzer to go off to go save a Marine’s life. He ended up dying doing that,” said longtime friend 1st Lt. Matt Jackson, 27, of Orange who flies helicopters for the Army Jared’s quote: Hero: “Anyone who has put their life on the line serving this country”. JROD Jared’s Dad, Joe Landaker is a retired CHP Officer. This foundation keeps the memory of the Seven Crew members who died serving our country alive. I encourage you to share their story. Submitted by Rick Sanders