Make 2020 a Year of Gratitude: A Time to Give Back and Serve Your CommunityNov 13, 2020
There’s no denying 2020 has been a challenging year. However, even during these difficult times, there is still much to be thankful for.
At Richardson | Ober | DeNichilo, we are thankful for the opportunity to serve our clients. We are grateful for our outstanding team that is committed to providing timely counsel during a global pandemic, prolonged wildfire season and an unprecedented legislative session. We are humbled to see how committed our staff remains to giving back to their communities – not only professionally, but personally.
At this time of year, we want to wish you and your families a happy Thanksgiving and better times ahead. We are proud to share with you our passion for serving others, especially during these difficult times.
Certain sections of the population have without doubt had a more difficult time adjusting to and overcoming the current health climate. This year, I’ve worked tirelessly to organize and lead a particular group in my religious congregation to help meet the temporal, health, and subsistence needs of such individuals in the Hacienda Heights community.
Working closely with church leaders, I helped organize a focused effort to ensure that necessities like toilet paper, hygiene and cleaning supplies, and basic food staples, were made available and often times delivered directly to the homes of those in need, including elderly individuals, single parent or low income families, or those with newborn children.
It has been amazing to witness the outpouring of kindness as those in this small area of the world rallied together to assist and support those around them. Through what has been a very abysmal year in many respects, this type of light has proved to be a beacon of hope.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, our church has put together a twice-monthly food give-away event. Every first and third week, folks donate bags of specific food items, paper goods, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, along with other items such as diapers and baby food for families with those specific needs. Volunteers sort and bag up the groceries and then on the second and fourth weeks, additional volunteers distribute the groceries from the church parking lot. Those in need arrive in their cars, open their trunk, and the volunteers, wearing masks and gloves, place the bags inside.
Each week we have seen an increasing number of people needing food assistance at this event, but each week all of the needs have been met because of the ongoing generosity of our church community. My husband and I are both currently working and, because we are being so blessed financially, have been able to make ongoing donations to this event. It really is amazing to be helping to meet a very tangible need for those struggling during this COVID season.
Each month, I make a contribution to an organization called Extraordinary Families, an organization that pairs foster children in LA County with foster parents and facilitates adoptions of children of all ages. Their mission is to help children and youth in foster care have the childhoods and futures they deserve. This is an organization I am proud to support in my community.
Our family supports our local food pantry. It is a partnership between our kids’ school, church, and the LA Regional food bank. Giving back is a great way to remind our kids of the importance of community and sharing our gifts. In the past, the school would rotate students and parents into the Monday morning Pantry Marketplace where patrons can walk through and select produce, fruit and durable goods set out like at a Farmer’s market.
Each year, I combine my love for photography to help support the St. Jude Foundation by offering complementary cards or prints of my photography to anyone who makes a donation. I promote this cause on my Photos with a Purpose Facebook page.
The St. Jude Foundation was a cause close to my mother’s heart and my hope is to honor her memory. I often get asked for prints or cards of my photography, and this is one way I can encourage others to support the St. Jude Foundation. The most important reward is raising awareness and helping the families who benefit from the St. Jude Foundation. St. Jude helps families with sick children around the world.
As a past president and current Board member of the Pasadena Jewish Temple & Center, I have the opportunity to serve the greater San Gabriel Valley Community through our work with several local charitable organizations including: Union Station Homeless Services and the Friends in Deed Bad Weather Shelter. This past year was particularly important for our organization as the Pandemic forced synagogues and churches to close. These closures required a community-wide virtual outreach effort to reach those in need from a distance, and provide the care and services in creative, socially distant ways. We developed new and effective ways to communicate to our members and bring them comfort and assistance during this time of great need.
I am a long-time Advisory Board member of the Pasadena Salvation Army. My wife and I support the Walter Hoving Home, a halfway house for women in recovery.
For the last 20 years, I’ve helped with homeless outreach in Pasadena Central Park called “Church in the Park,” which feeds 100-150 people every week on Sunday mornings.
Each year my church donates Thanksgiving meals to those in need. This year, I was able to donate a meal for a family of four. It’s a blessing to be able to give back.