By: Lynsey Saurenmann, coordinator, Population Management Support, Woodland Hills
Over the last 10 years, I have been fortunate to learn how to manage my own depression and recognize signs and symptoms in myself and others. As a licensed vocational nurse, I strive to help others as much as possible, especially regarding mental health topics.
In March 2017, I lost my best friend to complications that occurred due to a suicide attempt. I knew her for 19 years. She was a beautiful person and an even better friend. The hole left behind by her departure from this world will never be filled. In her honor, I continue to fight for mental health awareness, education, research, and treatment.
“I support the Cadet Character and Leadership Foundation(CCLF), which provides low-income Civil Air Cadets with scholarships for leadership and training programs. The CCLF makes it possible for young people to gain experience and learn leadership skills from their instructors,” says Alexandra Wiggins, Director of Nursing Services at the Los Angeles Medical Center.
“I benefited from similar life experiences that gave me the leadership skills to be successful in life, now it is our opportunity to support our future leaders,” adds Alexandra.
“The organization I support is Covenant House California (CHC), a non-profit agency that reaches out to at-risk homeless youth living on the streets and gives them an opportunity to turn their lives around,” says Kelly Eom, M.H.A., Clinical Strategic Goals group leader and improvement advisor at Kaiser Permanente’s Orange County Medical Center.
“Today’s youth are our future leaders, and Covenant House is working to support and help our most vulnerable young adult population,” adds Eom. “Covenant House is giving our youth hope, helping them find their purpose, giving them a hand when there is no one to turn to and nowhere to go. CHC gives them a chance at a life worth living.”
By: Jennifer S. Lopez, community benefit health manager, Woodland Hills Medical Center
The two organizations I support through the Community Giving Campaign are The Social Justice Fund and Meet Each Need With Dignity (MEND). The Social Justice Fund is a social change, grant-making, and educational organization created and guided by Ventura County donors, and Pacoima-based MEND is powered by volunteers who provide basic human needs to vulnerable populations. While I contribute to these organizations financially, they also give a lot to me in return.
My donation to The Social Justice Fund allows me to participate in a Giving Circle, a form of participatory philanthropy where, together with other individuals, we pool our contributions and decide on how to allocate the funds. This allows me to increase my awareness of and engagement in community issues.
Debbie Hernandez, regional community and government relations consultant, supports Grand Performances through Community Giving Campaign because it is one of L.A.’s rare gems. Read her first-person account below:
“I first learned about this group through a friend who encouraged me to attend one of the free concerts presented by Grand Performances at least ten years ago. The concert was fabulous! But I was completely overwhelmed with emotion to see people of every age, ethnicity, socio-economic, and cultural background enjoying music, the universal language, together. more >
By: Hazel T. DeSoto, account administration representative, CSC Medicare, KP San Diego
Meet Oreo, a blind, lovable dog that was taken to an animal shelter at the age of 13 to be euthanized due to old age. Fortunately, the shelter where Oreo was taken does not euthanize dogs for being old, and Oreo was given a second chance to have a loving family.
We rescued Oreo on March 30, 2015 after a family friend saw him in a kennel and told us he was a “must have.” Now that we have Oreo, we know what she meant. Oreo melts right into your lap, but also likes to explore when he’s left alone. Even blind senior dogs can be as curious as puppies.
While Oreo’s story has a happy ending, that is not always the case for senior dogs that are often deemed less adoptable and are the first to be put to sleep when the shelter needs more space to accommodate incoming dogs.
“The nonprofit organization nearest to my heart is National Medical Fellowships, which I have supported for seven years,” says Juanita Watts, M.D., regional coordinator for Women’s Health. National Medical Fellowships (NMF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented minority physicians and other health care professionals by providing scholarships and educational programs to underrepresented medical students.
“Medical school debt disproportionately affects students of color, and NMF is working to lessen that burden for thousands who, like me, have moved on to become physicians and leaders at Kaiser Permanente,” explains Dr. Watts.