August 15, 2018

Today we look back at three charities we interviewed on earlier shows...United in Harmony, Loving Hands and Painted Turtle.

Somewhere a child receives treatment for cancer; a volunteer reads to children in a classroom; a mentor provides a life-changing relationship with a child; volunteers provide humanitarian aid following a natural disaster; food pantries distribute food to those in need; or a dentist volunteers his time at a clinic for disadvantaged children. On August 17, National Nonprofit Day (NND) reminds us that each of these scenes is possible because of the nonprofit sector and the work performed by capable men, women and organizations.

Sherita J. Herring, a renowned speaker, best-selling author and business strategist, founded National Nonprofit Day to educate, enlighten and empower others to make a difference, while acknowledging those that are in the trenches, impacting lives every day – the Change-Makers of the World! 

In 2015, Americans gave $373.25 billion to nonprofits.  Since 1970, charitable giving has risen one-third as fast as the stock market.  It is estimated that the total charitable givings through 2052 will reach $21.2 - $55.4 Trillion.  And it's not just financial contributions but volunteer hours.  According to the Philanthropic News Digest, 64.5 million adults have volunteered 7.9 billion hours of service...that's an estimated worth of $175 billion.

Today we look at three charities we've highlighted on earlier episodes...

Adrian and Lindsay Schwartz
Adrian and Lindsay Schwartz

The Los Angeles nonprofit, United in Harmony, was established in 1989 as a response to homelessness and poverty facing children in the community. Their mission is to provide impoverished children with hope and opportunities.  Adrian visited United in Harmony and spoke with Lindsay Schwartz, the Executive Director, and Nick Melvoin, Camp Programming Director.  @UnitedInHarmony

Camp Harmony is the foremost United in Harmony program. Camp Harmony offers needy children a break from the tension of their daily lives–a place to play freely. It also affords them the opportunity to grow new talents while learning to trust and to try. Children enjoy a five night camping experience in the summer and an mini-two night camping experience in the winter. Their goal is to build relationships and self-esteem, to emphasize the beauty of nature, and to offer activities in art, sports, personal health and personal challenge.

Over 100 volunteer counselors are part of United in Harmony’s Leadership Program, a post-camp program that enables counselors to maintain relationships with campers, through monthly engagements with various agencies throughout the year. Summer counselors have the opportunity to continue relationships formed with campers by applying to the Leadership program. 

The United in Harmony annual fundraiser supports the programs and services that United in Harmony and Camp Harmony sponsor throughout the year.  This year, Harmony Bowl 2018 is being held on Sunday, October 21 at Bowlero, Mar Vista.  For more information, you can visit their website.

Adrian and Janiese Finney
Adrian and Janiese Finney

One Los Angeles charity working to change the lives of displaced children is Loving Hands Children’s Home. @lovinghandschildrenshome

As a Registered Nurse, Janiese Finney grew weary of observing the continuous cycle that resulted from the lack of consistent care that is faced by foster children in Los Angeles. Children often remained in the hospital for extended periods after receiving care -waiting to be placed in homes that were unable to attend to their sensitive physical, social, and mental health needs. Those that were placed often returned to the hospital in need of repeat care.

Loving Hands Children’s Home offers living accommodations and care services for displaced and medically fragile children within a secure setting. The facility provides a fully certified staff within and a wide variety of care services and activities. 

The children and youth attend public schools, play sports, participate in after school activities, have chores, and hang out with friends - just like other children their age. They encourage accountability and responsibility through community service and other projects to build confidence, self-esteem and leadership skills.

Adrian met up with Janiese Finney, the Founder and CEO, at the North Hollywood Police Station to talk about the issues in foster care and the work her organization is doing for some of these kids.

Adrian with Jessica Santos and Eliot Dreiband
Adrian with Jessica Santos and Eliot Dreiband

The Painted Turtle is located in Los Angeles.  Through innovative, camp-based programs that offer a great big dose of fun and support, children with more than 73 medical conditions visit The Painted Turtle each year, reclaiming the joys of childhood.   A member of Paul Newman’s renowned SeriousFun Camps (formerly the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps), The Painted Turtle has served over 47,000 children and their families through its Summer and Family Weekend camps since it opened its gates in 2004. @thepaintedturtlecamp

There is no billing department at The Painted Turtle—campers and their families attend free of charge. And there’s no limit to the amount of laughter campers take home with them either!

Their on-site medical support allows them to provide a unique and safe camp experience to children with special medical needs. Recent groups served include children with spina bifida and paraplegia, cerebral palsy and limb deficiency, rheumatic diseases, skeletal dysplasia and mucopolysaccharidosis, kidney disease and transplant, liver disease and transplant, immunodeficiency disorders, total parenteral nutrition, Crohn’s and colitis, hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, thalassemia, and severe asthma and allergies. They also have a special session for siblings of children who medically qualify to come to our camp programs.

Their Outreach Program, known as The Painted Turtle Outpost, allows them to reach out to children who are hospitalized, giving them a chance to be in an environment where they can “go to camp” and forget about their illness, at least for a little while. Since the launch of the program in September 2007, the Outpost program has brought the fun and spirit of their camp program into hospital playrooms and community events all throughout California.

Adrian had the opportunity to visit Jessica Santos and Eliot Dreiband at The Painted Turtle and learn a little about what they are doing for children with serious medical conditions and their families.