On Wednesday, June 27th, we paid tribute to our leading corporate, civic and community partners at our 2012 Annual Philanthropy Awards ceremony. Almost 200 guests gathered at the London West Hollywood Hotel as we saluted our most generous supporters for their passion and commitment to efforts to Create Pathways Out of Poverty for all in L.A. County.
On Wednesday, United Way of Greater Los Angeles paid tribute to its leading corporate, civic and community partners at its 2012 Annual Philanthropy Awards ceremony.
Close to 200 guests gathered at the London West Hollywood Hotel to be recognized for their tremendous efforts to Create Pathways Out of Poverty for all in L.A. County and were treated to live music, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and breathtaking views of the Sunset Strip.
Noel Massie, President of UPS’ Central California District and Chair of UWGLA’s Campaign Cabinet, was the first to address the crowd: “What you are doing now is making a material impact on those in need. Anything you can do to help rebuild their lives will turn our community into a more vibrant one.”
This year’s award recipients include:
Corporate Pillar Award: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Edison International and Avery Dennison
Employee Giving Award: Target, ACCO Engineered Systems, Valero Wilmington Refinery and the L.A. County Employee Campaign
Leadership Award: Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Miguel Contreras Labor Award: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 11
Model Campaign of the Year Award: East West Bank
Spirit of Los Angeles Award: AT&T, Bank of America, Edison International, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the Greater L.A. Combined Federal Campaign, UPS and Wells Fargo
Tocqueville Society Philanthropy Award: Nancy McGinnis
The evening was capped off with a special appearance by United Way NFL ambassador and Philadelphia Eagles Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha who commended guests on their achievements in the areas of fundraising, advocacy and volunteerism.
“It’s a beautiful thing when people of the same mind are gathered in the same place,” he said. “My hat goes off to you for doing what you’re doing. Congratulations and thank you for your support of the CPOP mission and United Way of Greater L.A. Clearly, we are all here to make a difference, to help our community and to promote growth and positive change!”
*From L to R: Noel Massie, Elise Buik, Nnamdi Asomugha and UW Board Chair, Caroline Nahas.
Last year, the International Visitors Center sent a delegation from Brazil to United Way of Greater Los Angeles. Brazil has a large street population and the delegation was eager to learn about the innovative work that United Way is undertaking to address homelessness throughout Los Angeles County. Needless to say, the delegation spent a significant amount of time learning about Home For Good and the work that Home For Good Partners are spearheading to end chronic and veteran homelessness!
The delegation returned to Brazil, shared what they learned, and encouraged their colleagues to reach out to Home For Good and consider ways in which their work on homelessness could be modeled after the Home For Good Action Plan. Last week, Mario Sobrinho, a Public Attorney from Sao Paulo, Brazil, met with United Way’s Program Officer, Alisa Orduña, to discuss housing first and Home For Good’s engagement with the Los Angeles Business Community. In addition to explaining the 5 year Action Plan, Alisa took Mario on a tour of Home For Good Partners in the Skid Row area. Through visits with Lamp Community and Homeless Health Care, Mario was able to learn about the Housing First model and the ways in which providers are using Harm Reduction to address the challenges of working with individuals that suffer from drug addiction.
Home For Good Partners should know that their work is not only inspiring people locally, but also globally! Mario will be taking what he learned about Home For Good back to Brazil, with the hope of helping his country address homelessness more effectively.
Thank you to Alisa for helping spread the word about what we do and for showing that it is possible to house our homeless neighbors and create an efficient system to help those in need!
Longtime United Way supporter UPS was recently named 2012 Corporate Partner of the Year by the L.A. Business Journal during its Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards luncheon at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
Each year, a different corporation is presented with the honor in recognition of its impact on a nonprofit organization through fundraising efforts as well as both financial and non-financial contributions.
In nominating UPS for the prestigious award, United Way credited Noel Massie – President of the company’s Central California District – with being the driving force behind its outstanding philanthropic efforts in the areas of employee giving and volunteerism.
“Aside from serving on UWGLA’s Corporate Board of Directors and as Chair of its 2011-2012 Campaign Cabinet, he led UPS employees to selflessly donate 40,000 hours of their time last year alone. He encourages his team, day in and day out, to learn more about our community’s most pressing issues, to get involved and inspire others to do the same – even while on the job.”
In 2007, Los Angeles City Council introduced a motion intended to eliminate sober living homes from residential areas. While the ordinance was unsuccessful in 2007, Councilmember Mitchell Englander has since revived the proposed legislation- now known as the Community Care Facilities Ordinance. Although initially intended to specifically target sober living facilities, in its current form the ordinance casts a much wider net and has the potential to eliminate shared housing options for over 43,000 families in the City of Los Angeles.
By threatening the living situation of thousands of individuals, the Community Care Facilities Ordinance will increase homelessness. Various organizations have taken a public stance against the ordinance and earlier this month Barbara Poppe, Executive Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), joined in opposition. Barbara reached out to Mitchell Englander to voice the USICH’s concerns over the ordinance’s potential impact on homelessness in Los Angeles. USICH’s letter highlights the growing alarm surrounding the ordinance- the potential devastating impacts are now garnering national attention. In her letter, Barbara writes:
“As has been well documented, Los Angeles suffers from a severe lack of affordable housing; consequently, the rate and extent of homelessness is one of the highest in the country. The proposed ordinance, if enacted, would further reduce available affordable housing options, eliminate rental supports from physically and mentally disabled individuals living in shared housing, and worsen the tenuous living situations of many of Los Angeles’ low-income households.”
Barbara also points out that, through the leadership of the City and County of Los Angeles and the Home For Good Action Plan, Los Angeles has made great strides towards reducing chronic and Veteran homelessness. USICH believes that the proposed ordinance is “a considerable step backwards in these efforts.”
Let’s not increase homelessness in Los Angeles! Learn more about the ordinance and join us in opposition by visiting www.StopCCFO.org.
Senator Diane Feinstein, Michael Huff (The Oakland Raiders), Nnamdi Asomugha (Philadelphia Eagles) Summit attendees, and United Way staff
Last week, United Way joined Team NFL – a volunteer group of civic-minded, college-educated NFL players – for the Youth Empowerment Summit at American University in Washington, D.C.
UWGLA Volunteer Services Manager, Jessica Yas was on hand for the three-day event which was designed to identify opportunities for ensuring the academic success of underprivileged students and to engage more people as volunteer readers, tutors and mentors.
Attendees heard from inspirational speakers in the field of education, the United Way public policy team, NFL players and superstar students from underserved communities before participating in breakout sessions where they shared personal experiences and ideas for bringing community engagement back to their schools.
Check out this video of Calais Campbell of The Arizona Cardinals encouraging students to graduate:
On the last day of the Summit, students and their Team NFL mentors visited federal representatives including Senator Dianne Feinstein on Capitol Hill to discuss the goal of cutting the dropout rate by half within five years and to request that they sign the volunteer recruitment pledge.
On Thursday, United Way chapters around the globe will be doing what they do best: bringing local communities together with the organization’s fifth annual “Day of Action.”
In June of 2011, 250 cities throughout the U.S. hosted Day of Action events benefiting more than 240,000 individuals in need as a direct result of United Way’s extensive efforts to build cross-sector partnerships, raise awareness and recruit volunteers.
According to United Way Worldwide, “June 21 is the day we stand up for ourselves, our friends, families and communities and pledge to change the course of our future.”
Looking for a way to get involved? Then join millions of loyal United Way supporters by donating your time or lending your voice to this worthy cause!
Click here to find rewarding volunteer opportunities in your area.
Or help get the word out about United Way’s 2012 Day of Action on Twitter. Simply tweet a single sentence on Thursday, June 21 about how you LIVE UNITED and add the hashtags #iamthechange and #LIVEUNITED to the end. Here are a few examples:
I can’t wait to start mentoring with @LAUnitedWay next weekend! #iamthechange #LIVEUNITED
I volunteer with my church each week. #iamthechange #LIVEUNITED
I do yard work for my elderly neighbors on the weekends. #iamthechange #LIVEUNITED
Late last week, students and faculty at El Sereno Middle School – one of seven Leadership Matters campuses funded by UWGLA – honored its graduating class with a joyous celebration.
Check out this video from the event:
Having been recently certified as an “IB World School” by the International Baccalaureate Organization, El Sereno has adopted a challenging curriculum which allows kids “to develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.”
The official announcement came only after the completion of an intensive, multi-year approval process requiring students to learn a second language, draw connections between diverse subject areas and demonstrate their critical thinking and leadership skills, among other things.
United Way of Greater L.A. invited Target employees from Alhambra, Compton, Woodland Hills and Eagle Rock to help commemorate the occasion by treating hundreds of eighth graders to colorful goodie bags brimming with healthy snacks.
For Daniel Ra, Executive Team Leader in HR at Target Compton, the opportunity to directly interact with students served as a poignant reminder of the true significance of his contributions.
“Putting a name and a face on your work humanizes it and creates a deeper emotional connection,” he said. “Hearing stories about the lives being impacted by United Way makes me realize I’m not just investing my dollars in a cause, I’m investing in people.”
For Dung Truong, Executive Team Leader in HR at Target Alhambra, the organization’s mission to create pathways out of poverty for children at low-income campuses such as El Sereno is particularly meaningful.
“I personally didn’t come from a privileged background and I know, firsthand, what poverty feels like,” he said. “So I understand the importance of giving back and ensuring that our future leaders get the kind of education they need to succeed.”
Philadelphia Eagles Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is slated to appear at UWGLA’s Annual Philanthropy Awards on June 27.
As the organization’s newest ambassador and a proud supporter of its mission to Create Pathways Out of Poverty, Asomugha will be on hand to celebrate the remarkable achievements of its leading corporate, civic and community partners.
Aside from being a three-time All-Pro selection and Pro Bowl athlete, Asomugha is also a recipient of the NFL’s Byron “Whizzer” White Award, the Jefferson Award and the Presidential Service Award.
The L.A. native is currently serving as Chairman of the Asomugha Foundation which seeks to educate and empower underprivileged youths across the U.S. and in Africa.
On June 19, 2012 Los Angeles Times featured Elise Buik’s, United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ CEO, response to the June 13th Column “Group homes law needs work.” This is what Elise had to say:
The Los Angeles City Council has a critical opportunity to protect housing for our most vulnerable neighbors. Its vote on the Community Care Facilities Ordinance will decide whether thousands of low-income city residents will be in jeopardy of losing their housing.
This ordinance will not only limit access to affordable housing but also increase our city’s costs with unnecessary litigation and restrictions to federal funding, not to mention create a red tape nightmare for property owners and tenants. The City Council should be focusing on how we can improve enforcement of existing nuisance abatement laws, not adding more bureaucratic, costly laws that will do more damage than good.
The City Council should demonstrate that it cares for all our residents by creating a solution that fosters strong, healthy communities for everyone.