HOMES FOR OUR TROOPS SEEKS COMMUNITY HELP BUILDING HOMES FOR TWO DOUBLE AMPUTEE VETERANS IN EL CAJON
"We're here for two of our American heroes." -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob
By Miriam Raftery
March 4, 2013 (El Cajon ) – Army Sergeant Odin Ayala and Marine Corporal Travis Greene each lost both legs serving in combat. But they were all smiles on February 23 at the groundbreakings of their new , specially adapted homes in El Cajon-- thanks to the efforts of the nonprofit Homes for Our Troops.
“Our motto is rebuilding homes, rebuilding lives,” said Tim McHale with Homes for our Troops. The group seeks donations as well as volunteers to help build these homes and more. Local community groups and businesses can also adopt a room, partnering in efforts to help these wounded veterans and others.
March 4, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- Hundreds of firefighters across the County will take to the streets on March 12 for the annual "Fill the Boot for the Burn Institute" effort. Firefights will collect cash donations at major intersections during morning and afternoon commutes. The effort is organized by the San Diego-Imperial County fire Fighters Advisory Council, the Burn Institute, and the San Diego County Fire Chiefs Association.
HOME OF GUIDING HANDS AWARDED GRANTS FROM EL CAJON AND SAN DIEGO COUNTY EMPLOYEES' CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION
March 3, 2013 (El Cajon) – The city of El Cajon and CECO (San Diego County Employees’ Charitable Organization) awarded separate grants to Home of Guiding Hands. The former approved a $35,270 grant for the residential program’s capital improvements on Tuesday, February 26 at the El Cajon City Council meeting. Funds will be used on four of their 31 community based homes for individuals with developmental disabilities. Projects include a new kitchen, energy efficient replacement windows, flooring replacement and new bathroom vanities.
February 27, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--SPRITES of East County, a mother-daughter philanthropic organization, will host itsr annual benefit on March 9, 2013 at Skyline Church. The theme of this year’s event Is “SPRITES Drive-In Thru The 50s.”
SPRITES has been serving charities in local neighborhoods for 44 years. Founded in 1968, SPRITES is a qualified non-profit organization made up of 240 mothers and their seventh to twelfth grade daughters who reside in the area served by the Grossmont Union High School District.
February 20, 2013 (El Cajon)--Get the Drawing board out and get ready--the El Cajon Animal Center for Education and Services (“ACES Foundation”) invites you to be a part of the first “Barkitecture 2013” by designing, building, and donating a “doggy dream house” or “cat condo” for the ACES Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to assist the El Cajon Animal Shelter. Donated dog houses and cat condos will be displayed during late April at Westfield Parkway Plaza. Each will then be auctioned to the highest bidder at an exciting and unique reception April 28. This event is not to be missed.
Image from http://www.barkitecture.net/
February 16, 2013 (San Diego)--It’s like TV’s Amazing Race to help Santee Santas! Teams of two make their way around Balboa Park solving cryptic clues and completing challenges. At the end of the race, everyone meets up at the finish line where teams are awarded prizes, receive free refreshments and re-hash the day’s exciting events.
County News Center
February 15, 2013 (Santee)--A Marine from Santee was chosen from more than 70 applicants to adopt the young Chihuahua that fell 80 feet from a cliff in Ocean Beach Jan. 11. The four-month-old pup has been under the care of County Animal Services while it recovered from head trauma, fractured ribs and numerous bruises. Once the little dog was healed, with the help of the department’s Spirit Fund, Animal Services began accepting adoption applications.
“Marine Gunnery Sergeant John Szczepanowski was chosen because he sent a story along with his application and it struck a chord,” said Animal Services Director Dawn Danielson.
Szczepanowski works in the wounded warrior regiment at Marine Corps Headquarters.
February 12, 2013 (La Mesa) – The first annual CARE Fair San Diego will be held at Lake Murray Community Church, 5777 Lake Murray Blvd., La Mesa on February 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This free event offers information about assistance agencies, programs and ministries available in San Diego County.
Participating organizations will have informational booths about what services they offer, how to receive those services and how to volunteer. The types of information provided will include emergency preparedness, elder care, nutrition, foster care and much more. There will also be children’s activities throughout the day.
February 12, 2013 (San Diego)--On Feb. 5, 2013, Union Bank, in partnership with KPBS, honored 16 local heroes who are making a positive difference in the lives of others. The heroes were selected each month in 2012 and were formally recognized last week at the cultural diversity celebration held at the San Diego Natural History Museum.
Louis Frick and Leroy Elliot of East County were recognized for Disability Awareness Month (Frick), and Native American Heritage Month (Elliot).
Photo by Melissa Jacobs
Union Bank and KPBS honored the 2012 Local Heroes at the San Diego Natural History Museum: Back row (L to R) honorees Michael A.V. Cruz, Larry T. Baza, Jill Borg Spitzer, Danny Gutierrez and JiAel Brownell; middle row (L to R) honorees Michelle Houle and Mike Kawamura; Tom Karlo, KPBS general manager; George Ramirez, Union Bank executive vice president and chief diversity executive; Lawrence Henry, Union Bank senior vice president and regional executive; and honoree Jeri Dilno; front row (L to R) honorees Dennis-Michael Broussard, Louis Frick, Laurel Moorhead, Bishop Roy Dixon, Dr. Doris A. Howell and Leroy Elliott. (Honorees Patricia A. Dixon and Gussie Zaks not pictured.)
UNITED STATES FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE AND SAN DIEGO MOUNTAIN BIKING ASSOCIATION CREATING SUSTAINABLE TRAILS FOR EAST COUNTY TRAIL USERS
February 3, 2013 (San Diego)--On Sunday, 1-20-2013, 27 volunteer members of SDMBA met at the Par Four trail head of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge (SDNWR) to construct sustainable shared-use single-track trail. The San Diego National Wildlife Refuge includes areas east and west of the Steele Canyon Bridge in Rancho San Diego, as well as Mt. Miguel, Mama Miguel Mountain, and land overlooking the Sweetwater Reservoir in the Otay area. This event is the first time mountain bikers earned the privilege to construct shared-use trails within a National Wildlife Refuge which is administered by the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).
By Janis Mork
February 2, 2013 (El Cajon)- The Heartland Lions Club of El Cajon will host its annual fashion show to benefit the blind on March 23 from 12-3 p.m.. The event will be held at Ronald Reagan Community Center, 195 East Douglas Ave, El Cajon 92020.
January 30, 2013 (San Diego) – The CPUC is holding a Public Forum on the Quail Brush Power Plan along with two other proposed power plants in San Diego County on Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. at Al Bahr Temple/Shriner’s Auditorium, 5440 Kearny Mesa Rd., San Diego. The CPUC’s proposed decision will prevent the emission of over 900,000 annual tons of greenhouse gases by denying purchase power tolling agreements.
Host a Food Drive for Mama's Pantry
January 31, 2013 (San Diego) -- Mama’s Pantry, a service of Mama’s Kitchen, provides a nutritional shopping opportunity at no cost for men, women and children of San Diego County affected by HIV/AIDS. The public’s help is needed in February to host food drives throughout the county to ensure the shelves are full with nutritious non-perishable food items. Mama’s Kitchen aims to collect 100 barrels of food for Mama’s Pantry.
By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Melody Ponchot and Miriam Raftery
January 22, 2013 (San Diego) – Community members , activists and political leaders from across East County were among hundreds in attendance at the People’s Ball Saturday night at the World Beat Center. The event raised over $4,000 that will be matched by an anonymous donor, leaving just $5,000 left to raise for a transmitter to put KNSJ radio on the air in East County.
Prominent East County residents in attendance included Lemon Grove Councilman George Gastil, Boulevard Planning Group member Melody Ponchot, and Ben Kalasho, who narrowly missed winning his race for El Cajon Council. Musicians, artists, and groups ranging from human rights advocates to Green Party members also turned out to support KNSJ, which will reach portions of San Diego in addition to a vast area in East County.
January 16, 2013 (Spring Valley) – On January 19 the community is invited to a special fundraiser at Steele Canyon High School, 12440 Campo Road, Spring Valley from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to benefit the family of Don Mott. Mott is recovering from a seven hour open-heart surgery after suffering three heart attacks in the month of December.
MOUNTAIN BIKING ASSOCIATION TO HELP CONSTRUCT NEW TRAIL JAN. 20 at SAN DIEGO NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
January 15, 2013 (San Diego)--On Sunday, January 20 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the San Diego Mountain Biking Association (SDMBA) will be constructing new sustainable shared-use trails on the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. The trail-head is located at the end of Par Four Dr., off of Steele Canyon Road.
Planning for this event took over four years. Design, construction and maintenance will all be by volunteers.
January 6, 2013 (Santee)—Pixi Welsh, 2 ½ , is the daughter of Santee Firefighter James Welsh. She was diagnosed with leukemia in November and was admitted to Children’s Hospital. Blood donations are needed, since she faces over two years of therapy including chemotherapy and blood transfusions.
Pixi’s illness has also placed a huge financial strain on the family, since her father will be out of work for months and medical bills are growing.
December 30, 2012 (La Mesa) – Poet Jim Hornsby Morena, owner of the Spacebar Internet Café in La Mesa, is asking for donations of blankets to help the Mixtec Indians in Tijuana during this winter season. Below is his message, along with a link to a video.
January 2, 2013 (La Mesa) – On Sunday, December 23, The Eagle Patrol Webelos from Cub Scout Pack 391 got hands on training from La Mesa firefighters at the main La Mesa Fire Station 11 at 8034 Allison Avenue. The Scouts were taught emergency first aid procedures. In addition they were shown equipment used by firefighters in their jobs.
SAN DIEGO CHAPTER OF IPSSA PRESENTS A $7,000 DONATION TO OPERATION HOMEFRONT- SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA IN SUPPORT OF OUR TROOPS
December 30, 2012 (San Diego)-Michael Anderson, President o f Independent Pool and Spa Service Association ( IPSSA San Diego), recently presented Karla Winter-Schulz, President of Support the Enlisted Project ( S.T.E.P.) with a $7,000.00 charitable contribution. S.T.E.P. is the local branch of Operation Homefront, dedicated to assist servicemen and women and their families in many areas of need.
By Rebecca J. Williamson
December 27, 2012 (El Cajon)--The Marquez vs Pacquiao fight has nothing over the boxers (and stuffed animal lovers) at El Cajon’s Und1sputed Fitness and Training Center. Boxers Andy Murad and 14-year-old high school student Anthony Cesena were among those who pitched in to help during the Center’s toy drive, Christmas party, and fight club exhibition held Saturday, December 15.
December 22, 2012 (San Diego) – In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School much of the country is looking for ways to help. San Francisco-based www.Razoo.com has made it easy for Californians to donate money by creating a page dedicated solely to all the charities and nonprofits that are helping the victims and families in the community of Newtown, CT. http://www.razoo.com/p/connecticut-school-tragedy-page/ The page includes the Sandy Hook PTA and the Lutheran Church Charity Fund that is bringing its healing dogs to Newtown to help aid grieving families.
By Anthony Moreno
December 20, 2012 (San Diego) -- Not many people would give their personal cell phone number out on live television, but Jeanne McAlister, Founder and CEO of McAlister Institute, will do whatever she can to get someone suffering from substance abuse into treatment. She founded the institute, a 501(c)(3), in 1977. Thirty-five years later, it operates 25 drug treatment programs throughout San Diego and is one of the largest and most diverse AOD (Alcohol and Other Drugs) treatment providers in the county.
Provided courtesy of Daniel P. Harris, Senior Vice President, Regional Manager, Philanthropic Services at Wells Fargo
December 20, 2012 (San Diego) – You might be surprised to learn that 73% of charitable giving comes from individual contributions – five times more than corporate donations. Now more than ever organizations are relying on nonprofit giving for support, particularly during the holiday season. Fortunately, the holidays are traditionally a time when people feel more inclined to be generous.
Some give as opportunities arise, while others donate to specific organizations based on the cause. Regardless of your motives, it’s important to be well informed about the organizations you will contribute to. By doing so, you can make sure your money is used for its intended purpose and avoid scams.
December 13, 2012 (El Cajon ) -- Since 1955, El Cajon's civic, service, and fraternal organizations have helped to select an El Cajon “Citizen of the Year” from the many people in El Cajon who contribute to the city through years of volunteer civic and community service. Anyone may make a nomination for this year's Citizen of the Year award by the December 21, 2012 deadline. This award is for volunteer (un-paid) service to the community which benefits the city and residents of El Cajon. Applicants for El Cajon Citizen of the year need not live within the city limits of El Cajon, but must live in East County.
By Staci Torgensen
December 7, 2012 (San Diego)--At the ripe age of two, Journey’s birthday party is making a difference in the lives of victims of Hurricane Sandy. This beautiful young girl is turning her second birthday party into an event to remember.
Journey’s family has chosen to ECHOage her upcoming birthday party. Instead of receiving many smaller gifts, Journey has used a birthday service that allows guests to contribute online. Half of the funds will go to Kids in Distressed Situations – helping the victims of Hurricane Sandy - and the other half will go to a pink vintage play kitchen - a fitting gift for a Cookies and Milk birthday party theme.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF EAST COUNTY FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THREE-YEAR, $2 MILLION CAPITAL CAMPAIGN
December 2, 2012 (Alpine) -- On Wednesday, November 28, members of Junior Girl Scout Troop 6279 of Alpine worked like elves in the Alpine Food Bank workshop packaging bulk rice and pasta. The girls decorated and packaged over 200 one-pound bags of rice and pasta that will be distributed by the Alpine Food Bank to needy East County families.
Members of Girl Scout Troop 6279 with their Holiday staples packages at the Alpine Food Bank, pictured from left to right, Back Row: Julia Tompkins, Kate Duffy, Claire Doucet . Front Row: Gracie Wyse, Danika Dabbs, Carlita Coleman, Brinleigh Aland and Kenzie Wray. Not pictured: Rori McCarthy, Karlee Dillon, Carly Hodgson and Carli Sheker.
By Miriam Raftery
November 27, 2012 (La Mesa)—ECM writer Kristin Kjaero has asked us to post a request from a friend stationed in Afghanistan with the Army Corps of Engineers. He seeks donations of twin-sized blankets for 300 female students. Below is his letter, which tells their remarkable story.
Please read it, and consider donating new or second-hand blankets to bring some much-needed comforts to these courageous and determined young women.
November 27, 2012 (Alpine)—Piano students of Suzie Steenbergen held their autumn piano party recital celebration on November 18 in the sanctuary at Christ the King Episcopal Church in Alpine.
“It was a fine afternoon and 50+ family members and friends gathered to hear piano music on the church’s lovely piano,” Steenbergen said.
Photo caption: Left to right:Alex Speck, Rhianna Speck, Sophia Parsons, Ashley Hoffman, Mia Moran, Avery Howard, and Bella Nedjar.