December 17, 2016 (San Diego) - Three generous community members (Secret Santas) enlisted the help of Sheriff's Deputies today to surprise dozens of families with cash and gift cards. People's reactions were one of pure joy.
December 14, 2016 (El Cajon) - On Saturday December 17, 2016, El Cajon Valley Lions will box and deliver Christmas food baskets to needy families in El Cajon. Each family will receive turkey and all the fixings and toys for the children. El Cajon Valley Lions have been doing this program in collaboration with the El Cajon Salvation Army for more than 25 years.
Photo: Chris Manzella accepting her award from Volunteer Manager Cindy Collins
December 13, 2016 (Lakeside) -- Chris Manzella has been named Lakeside's River Park Conservancy's Volunteer Of The Year. The award given was the "The Joan Burnett Memorial Inspirational Award" named after founding volunteer Joan Burnett, who passed away in 2005.
December 12, 2016 (San Diego) -- Buying your dog a festive doggie sweater or coat for the holidays? Throw two into the shopping basket or donate an old one to County Animal Services’ “Paw It Forward” campaign for pets of homeless people.
December 6, 2016 (San Diego) - The California Highway Patrol has launched its 2016 CHiPs for Kids toy drive in San Diego County. CHiPs for Kids is a Community Outreach program that has been in existence for 28 years in other areas of the state. Friday December 16th. There will be several collection and distribution events in the county, including Friday, December 16th from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Walgreens Store in Lakeside(9728 Winter Gardens Boulevard 92040 here in East County.) You can also drop off a new, unwrapped toy at any CHP office, Red Robin Restaurant, Waste Management, or Walgreens location between now and December 23rd.
December 5, 2016 (El Cajon) - The East County Transitional Living Center is holding a blanket and linen drive for the center’s formerly homeless residents. Donations of new twin or full linens or blankets can be brought to Cal Fire Fire stations at several East County locations by December 15 (See flyer below) or you can drop them off at the ECTLC, located at 1527 East Main Street in El Cajon.
November 27, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The newly created San Diego East County Regional Homeless Task Force held its first meeting in mid-November at the El Cajon Police Department.
The effort is being spear-headed by the San Diego-East County Chamber of Commerce with support from civic leaders, educators, religious and other nonprofit organizations, social service providers and law enforcement. City managers from La Mesa, El Cajon and Lemon Grove and about 100 others attended the inaugural meeting.
Photo, left to right: Councilman Gary Kendrick with his son, TJ, and two formerly homeless men they have taken into their home, Tony and Michael
November 24, 2016 (El Cajon) -- It’s rare to find elected officials willing to stand up to special interests or cast votes unpopular with vocal constituents, doing what he or she believes is right for the community and for people in need.
November 7, 2016 (El Cajon) - The Eagle Court of Honorceremony for new Eagle Scout Alexander Bryan Mast of Boy Scout Troop 320 was held on Nov. 5 at the First Presbyterian Church of El Cajon. Family and friends, El Cajon City Councilman Bob McClellan and a representative from State Senator Joel Anderson’s office joined Scouts at the celebration at 500 Farragut Circle. A reception followed. The First Presbyterian Church has sponsored three Scout 320 units.
November 5, 2016 (Spring Valley) -- Noah Homes, a nonprofit for adults with developmental disabilities, joined by elected officials and more than 30 community partners announced the completion of the first memory care homes in California, two of the first in the nation, specifically for people with developmental disabilities, including Down syndrome, Autism, cerebral palsy and others. A ribbon cutting on this first-of-its kind project was held on November 3rd.
November 3, 2016 (San Diego) - California Coast Credit Union is partnering with the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) and the San Diego Unaccompanied Youth Task Force this holiday season to launch a sock drive to collect thousands of new, unused socks for youth experiencing homelessness in San Diego County.
November 1, 2016 (Alpine) - Local teens are determined to help their best friend as she fights bone cancer by organizing a major fundraising event.
Samantha Bodger, 16 years old, who lives in Alpine and is a top student at Granite Hills High School, was diagnosed with High Grade Osteosarcoma in August 2016. She requires 10 months of intensive chemotherapy and a major surgery to amputate her leg mid-November.
November 1, 2016 (Lakeside) - A job training program at the East Mesa Detention and Re‐entry Facility is taking root at county parks. Trees and plants that were cultivated and grown at the jail's greenhouse will be planted at five parks all over the county this month—including Lakeside’s El Monte Park here in East County.
Nov.1, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) –The 2016 San Diego Regional Law Enforcement Teddy Bear Drive benefiting Rady Children’s Hospital will launch on Thursday, Nov. 3 at the nine Chick-fil-A restaurants in San Diego County, including the Chick-fil-A restaurant East County’s Chick-fil-A restaurant at 9418 Mission Gorge Road, Santee.
November 1, 2016 (Julian) -- "Chris Gardner has been the Jess Martin Park volunteer park host for 6 years, for the community of Julian, he is simply irreplaceable!" So reads a petition launched by Julian residents hoping to keep Gardner on site.
October 29, 2016 (Alpine) - Lions Tigers & Bears (LTB) - an accredited big cat, bear and exotic animal rescue sanctuary, in San Diego County, Calif., held it's 6th annual Halloween Spooky Campover from Friday, October 28 to Saturday, October 29, for guests of all ages to come and spend a wild and goulish night under the stars with the 60+ rescued animals that call the sanctuary home.
Photo: Left to Right: Volunteers of America Southwest President & CEO Gerald McFadden, LPGA Professional Katherine Kirk, Volunteers of America National President & CEO Mike King
October 20, 2016 (San Diego) - Volunteers of America Southwest held its 17th Annual Celebrity Golf Classic on Monday, September 12, 2016. The all-day event was held at the Country Club of Rancho Bernardo located at 12280 Greens East Road, San Diego.
By Petty Officer Jamal McNeill, Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs
October 18, 2016 (San Diego) - A 2003 Mount Miguel High School Graduate and San Diego, California native recently returned to the United States from an overseas deployment with the largest amphibious warship in the Navy.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Vizcorrondo, is a master-at-arms serving aboard USS Boxer (LHD-4), based in San Diego, California.
October 16, 2016 (Alpine) -- Lions Tigers & Bears (LTB), a San Diego Big Cat and Exotic Animal Rescue, has sent its rescue team to a sanctuary in South Dakota, which has closed after a recent USDA inspection and tiger mauling last week.
October 14, 2016 (Jamul) - A GoFundMe site setup yesterday to help a Jamul woman whose three dogs were bitten by a rattlesnake has raised over $7,000. She is a single mother who can’t afford the costly care needed to save her dogs’ lives.
October 13, 2016 (El Cajon) -- St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center, a nonprofit organization that serves individuals with developmental disabilities, received a $500,000 gift from A-1 Self Storage. The funds are being used to support renovations for a new Aquatics Locker Room Facility at St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center, renovations began on September 13.
October 4, 2016 (Potrero) – “Finally! Kendrick was the last of the dogs at our shelter in Bonita which were rescued from the Border Fire in Potrero in June, “San Diego Animal Services posted on Facebook yesterday.
According to Animal Services, “The young man in the photo met Kendrick a few weeks ago and couldn't get him off his mind. His mom said if they came back on Saturday (October 1st) and Kendrick was still here, he could have him for his birthday which is this week. Kendrick hit it off with this family right away and was happy to leave with them today! His new family is going to take him on lots of hikes on the trail near their home!”
Photo (L to R): foundation intern Malena Habib, foundation program director Benita Page, site mentor Rocio Hernandez, and foundation executive director Tasreen Khamisa.
October 3, 2016 (La Mesa) - The Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF) has been going through its safe school model at La Mesa Arts Academy for two years. The safe school model includes class curriculum, a restorative practice educational curriculum (TKF Circle of Peace Curriculum). Founded by the sister of Tariq Khamisa, who was killed by a gang member, the program has resulted in a 72% reduction in suspension and 72% increase in school attendance in San Diego schools where it has been implemented.
September 22, 2016 (San Diego) - In 1995, 20-year-old Tariq Khamisa was shot and killed by 14-year-old Tony Hicks, a gang member. Hicks was convicted as an adult and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. The Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF), a nonprofit, was established in 1995 by Tariq’s father Azim Khamisa along with Tony Hicks’ grandfather, Ples Felix.
Photo: Last year’s International Peace Day in La Mesa drew a crowd.
September 17, 2016 (La Mesa)--The Interfaith Council of La Mesa is celebrating it's 3rd annual International Day of Peace in La Mesa on Sept. 25 at 3:30 p.m. in Aztec Park (7945 Morocco Drive) as part of a global effort. All are welcome at the event, which aims to bring awareness to “the need to promote peace, unity and good will in both local and global communities.” (View flyer)
Sept. 12, 2016 (East County) – Fitness instructor, dancer and choreographer Dionne Thomas has been selected as keynote speaker at the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce’s 14th annual Women In Leadership Luncheon (WILL). Awards will be presented Friday, Sept. 16 at the Town and Country Resort Hotel in Mission Valley.
September 10, 2016 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Chamber announces the continuation of a holiday project inspired last year by a partnership between the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, the La Mesa City Employees Association and Jerry Lester, local community supporter. The project benefits children within La Mesa that are identified by La Mesa Community Welfare and several La Mesa elementary schools to be in need. The driving force behind this project is Maxine Lynch and the La Mesa City Employees Association.