Riverside Water Polo players, parents and coaches achieved a club record when they packed 572 sack lunches for the homeless Thursday, Nov. 19 on the pool deck at the Riverside Aquatic Center at Riverside City College.
Each lunch consisted of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a bag of chips, an orange and water, all of it donated by Riverside Water Polo families.
Charlie Koosed of Riverside Water Polo said in an email the club has been packing sack lunches for the homeless for many years as a way to give back to the community. The number of lunches packed this year exceeded last year’s total by 84.
The group topped off the packing event with a scrimmage pitting coaches and parents against athletes.
Riversiders commitment to making one-other’s life a little better is a great example of Riverside acting as a unified city. The actions of all the students and parents demonstrates that Riverside is a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.
Residents of King Arthurs Mobile Home Estates who were up early Saturday morning, Nov. 21, might have noticed the hum of activity emanating from the area around the clubhouse.
A little before 8 a.m., some 90 volunteers were in the process of gathering to clean, trim, rake and paint – in general, spruce up – 15 residences at the mobile home park which sits just a stone’s throw from the I-60 freeway.
The project was coordinated by Habitat For Humanity, which is no stranger to the neighborhood.
“This is one of the parks we regularly work in,” said Kathy Michalak, executive director of the local Habitat for Humanity chapter. “We have a really good relationship with this park.”
More than half of the volunteers were employees of local Lowe’s stores. Myrna Vega, a Lowe’s store manager, helped coordinate the project and gather the volunteers.
“We love going out into the communities, not only where we work but also where we live,” Vega said. “So we can help people love where they live.”
Other volunteers came from Habitat for Humanity chapters at Ramona High School and UC Riverside. Funding for the project included a $25,000 grant from Lowe’s for Habitat’s Women Build Week program.
Organizations such as Habitat for Humanity are great examples of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified citypillar. We are a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.
Hundreds of California Baptist University students, staff, faculty and their families worked diligently to pack more than 550 gift shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) on Nov. 12.
OCC is a project of Samaritan’s Purse that has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 124 million children affected by war, poverty, natural disasters and other crises. The gift boxes have reached approximately 150 countries and territories since 1993. Some of the gifts items include hygiene products, clothes, school supplies and toys.
More than 750 participants packed the CBU Recreation Center gym to fill boxes with donations that were spread out on tables.
Planning and organizing the event was a months-long effort that included help from many departments on campus, said Julie Dobbins, assistant director of chapel and compassion ministries and event organizer. Schools and departments provided donations for the shoeboxes as well, she said.
Efforts like this truly demonstrate why Riverside is such a unified city. Riverside is a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants and beyond.
At Image One Camera and Video, there is more to business than just making money. Owner Shadi Sayes came to the United States from Jordan 14 years ago with drive and passion. After managing a handful of industry leading camera stores, Sayes assembled his dream team of professionals he had met over the years to bring Image One Camera and Video to Riverside.
A true photo service camera store, Image One Camera and Video offers everything one would need for photography, videography and cinematography. With a state of the art facility, including the first 4K editing station by GoPro in the country, there are a lot of things that set Image One Camera and Video apart from other photography dealers. Sayes’ dedication and commitment to philanthropy in the Riverside community is inspirational. Through event sponsorships, giveaway contests, discounts, training courses, and one-on-one advising, Sayes works tirelessly to capture the heart of photography in the community; especially with students. Image One Camera and Video holds student photo contests with local Universities and Riverside students to catalyze creativity and spark passion. Starting as young as elementary school, Shadi encourages the youth in our community to follow their passion, while helping them learn.
Shadi’s kindness and passion to make a difference in his community is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar. Shadi demonstrates that we are a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.
(This article contains excerpts from the article published in CBU News & Events on October 30, 2015.)
California Baptist University nursing faculty and students sprang into action to help a local rehabilitation center when the power went out on Oct. 30 shortly after 11:00 am.
A collapsed tree fell onto power lines on Magnolia Avenue in front of CBU’s front lawn and caused power outages in the surrounding areas. The Mission Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, located across the street from CBU, lost its power as well. This facility takes care of nearly 30 individuals that depend on power-operated ventilators to breathe.
The Riverside Fire Department initially responded to the scene.
Dr. Geneva Oaks, dean and associate professor of nursing, said that her office received a call stating that they could use some help.
“We responded immediately, probably around 30 – 40 of our staff and students went down the street,” said Oaks. “There were students running to the center.”
Oaks said that Jeff DeLaurie, battalion chief, wanted skilled hands available in case they needed to use manual devices to help patients breathe.
The center’s backup generators failed to turn the power back on. As a result, more than 10 fire engines and ambulances were called in to provide the power needed to allow the ventilators to keep running.
Oaks said the fire department requested that CBU faculty and students observe patients to ensure they were breathing correctly.
“They were asked to make sure the patients were receiving everything they needed to preserve life,” Oaks said.
The fire department was extremely thankful, Oaks said.
“It was a blessing to see the heart of our staff and students,” said Dr. Susan Drummond, associate dean and associate professor of nursing. “They want to do good and have a heart for service.”
These nurses truly demonstrated what makes Riverside such a unified city. Riverside are working together everyday to not only address local issues, but also have a positive impact on the region, nation, and world.
When Annette Ramsey thinks back to her childhood, it is her teachers that she remembers as her greatest inspiration.
“My teachers made me feel important,” she said.
Ramsey waited until after her children were grown and had moved out before she decided to return to school so that she could follow a longtime dream and become a teacher. Leaving a successful 23-year career as a designer, Ramsey got her A.A. in education from Riverside City College before transferring to UC Riverside, where she earned a B.A. in liberal arts.
“I went through several years of focusing on the one goal of becoming an elementary school special needs teacher,” Ramsey said. “I realized toward the end that I did not like the way they said I had to teach. I’m a rebel and have been since my early days. I still wanted to teach, but I wanted to teach something I was good at and something that would really benefit a child who struggles in a regular class setting. I believe with all my heart that art is the answer for these children and adults.”
The 62-year-old Ramsey struck out on her own. She began teaching art classes for low-income children at the Cesar Chavez Community Center in Riverside’s East Side neighborhood. It was the first class of what would become the Riverside Art Academy. She currently operates Studio 38B in downtown Riverside’s Life Arts Center and teaches classes for children at the Orange Terrace Community Center and Starting Gate Educational Services, both in Riverside, and for developmentally disabled adults at Corona’s Peppermint Ridge.
Although she lives in Redlands, Ramsey’s work is primarily in Riverside. Her young students have been exhibited in China and Mexico, as well as several locations in Riverside, including the Riverside Community Arts Association and Riverside Art Museum. In addition, their work has appeared in three exhibitions in U.S. Rep. Mark Takano’s Riverside office. Ramsey is also assisting Congressman Takano’s staff with the annual congressional art competition.
“It’s an honor to help with something that can have such an important impact on a student’s life,” she said.
If a program can be said to be dearest to Ramsey’s heart, it would be Starting Gate, a non-public school housed on the former campus of Riverside’s Grant Elementary School. The program serves multiple school districts that refer students who are currently not able to be enrolled in public schools.
“This is my calling,” Ramsey said. “I see a huge difference in these students. The teachers and staff are amazed at the students’ response. I wasn’t. I know that the arts can make a difference in their lives. These are children who are going to be lost if we don’t do something to make them feel like there is a future in something they do well.”
Ramsey is a mother of two and a grandmother of seven. She is also a tireless advocate for the community and will be recognized as the November Arts and Innovation Honoree of the Month at the Riverside City Council meeting Nov 10.
In addition to the classes she teaches at various sites, Ramsey runs the Art Masters Academy out of her studio in downtown Riverside’s historic Life Arts Center. She hopes to build up a scholarship fund for students and to create an art masters curriculum that she can share with other teachers.
Ramsey’s kindness and passion to make a difference in her community is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified citypillar. Ramsey demonstrates that we are a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.
For more information on Annette Ramsey, visit her Facebook page, Heart Enterprise.
More than 5,000 military personnel and their families were recently treated to a special day of recognition and fun at the 43rd Annual Military Appreciation Picnic held at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, Calif. Altura Credit Union was a major event sponsor, and a team of 21 employees volunteered for various duties, including assisting in the Kid Zone.
The picnic is coordinated and hosted by the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce and the Moreno Valley Chambers of Commerce to support personnel assigned to the local air base.
Hundreds of local volunteers give their time to honor and thank military men and women for their service and recognize the sacrificestheir families make. Numerous local and military-related businesses underwrite the cost of the event, which is free to military personnel and their families.
Held at LeMay Park on the air base, the picnic featured a grilled feast of hamburgers and hot dogs, a water zone, popsicle station, live music, and Kid Zone featuring a miniature amusement park, inflatable play structures, face painting and more.
Altura’s effort to make a difference in our community is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar. Riversiders are working together everyday to not only address local issues, but to also have a positive impact on the region, nation, and world.
Pomegranates, peaches, peppers and tomatoes could be among the fresh-picked local produce that makes its way into local harvest boxes for Eastside residents through a new healthy living program.
Individuals and families living on the Eastside can apply for a pilot program that will deliver weekly boxes of fruits and vegetables from neighboring farms and offer workshops on nutrition, gardening and cooking.
The fledgling Riverside Food Cooperative is managing the Community Supported Agriculture Crop Box program, brought to the neighborhood as part of the Kaiser Permanente-sponsored Eastside HEAL Zone initiative. Kaiser’s effort to improve the health of the communities they serve, is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar.
The co-op will launch the program with produce from four farms, most within a few miles of downtown Riverside, and a community garden in Ontario. Unity Farm is certified organic and the others grow food with reduced or no pesticides and other toxins, said co-op member Nick Melquiades.
The program’s educational side is based on participants’ needs and could include workshops about simple cooking on a budget, container gardening and how to find produce at nearby farms.
The city’s Community & Economic Development Department, Riverside County Public Health Department and the Community Health Foundation are administering the three-year initiative to boost healthy living among Eastside residents by encouraging people to eat healthier foods and exercise more.
The neighborhood is among 17 California communities chosen for the Healthy Eating, Active Living initiative because of the neighborhood’s high obesity rate and limited access to affordable healthy food. The initiative ends in March.
A World War II officer’s club at a long-shuttered military base is morphing into a new center of hope and healing for veterans in an innovative Riverside housing project expected to open early next year.
The Camp Anza Officers Club, with its huge dance floor, tiki room and paintings of Polynesian beauties, was the site of send-off parties for thousands of officers leaving for combat in the Pacific.
The massive building, which sat at the heart of a vital U.S. Army troop staging area, is undergoing a renovation to make it the centerpiece of the Home Front at Camp Anza.
The $14.1 million project by San Diego-based Wakeland Housing and Development Corp., Mercy House of Santa Ana and Riverside’s housing authority will offer affordable apartments for 29 disabled vets and their families and on-site services to keep them together.
On a tour of the area Wednesday, Riverside City Councilman Jim Perry said the effort to help returning war vets also will revitalize one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods by breathing new life into an important piece of its past.
The historic clubhouse will function as the complex’s community center, offering services tailored to vets and a place for relaxation and meetings. Vets will work with a full-time case manager provided by Mercy House.
Vets will get on-site physical therapy, job coaching and placement, and classes on civilian life skills and financial literacy. They will be connected with Veterans Affairs benefits and vocational training or higher education, said Mercy House Executive Director Larry Haynes.
For vets and their families, there will be on- and off-site behavioral and mental health support, conflict resolution, financial assistance, tutoring and school supplies for kids.
Riversiders commitment to making one-other’s life a little better is a great example of Riverside acting as a unified city. The actions of all the participating organizations demonstrates that Riverside is a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.
The University of California, Riverside has been recognized by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics as a Bright Spot in Hispanic education. The announcement was made Sept. 15, 2015 at the launch of Hispanic Heritage Month and in honor of the Initiative’s 25th anniversary in Washington, D.C.
As a Bright Spot, UC Riverside is part of a national online catalogthat includes over 230 programs that invest in key education priorities for Hispanics. In two separate entries, the university is being honored for its student success efforts with the College of Natural and Agricultural Science’s freshman learning communities, as well as for its ethnic parity in campus graduation rates. It is rare to have very little gap between students of different ethnicities.
UCR is a testament to the diversity of our city which falls within the pillars Unified City and Location of Choice. People have a desire to meet and communicate with others that are not like themselves, and there are many opportunities for that in Riverside