Category Archives: Unified City

Smiles For Seniors Program Going Strong After 16 Years

Smile Seekers

(This article contains excerpts from www.SmileSeekers.org and retrieved on November 14, 2014.)

Smile Seekers is a Riverside home-grown non-profit corporation whose goal is to unite the youth of this country with the forgotten elderly.  Started 16 years ago by Jim Baldwin, the organization has literally connected thousands of adult and youth volunteers with the elderly through their convalescent-visitation program.

Baldwin came from a life of addiction.  After becoming clean, he was approached by some friends who needed a ride to visit their dying father in a convalescent hospital.  “While waiting for them, I decided to walk around and say hello to some of the people in the care center.  Every room I walked into, people were dying of loneliness.”  When he returned to Riverside, he called a local convalescent hospital and asked if he could visit even though he had no relatives there.  The woman on the other end of the phone asked if “we could come right now”.

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While continuing his convalescent ministry today, Smile Seekers was also instrumental in creating Smile Seekers House in Nairobi, Kenya.  The 3-story stone building is a home for children made orphans due to Africa’s AIDS epidemic, and their “Goats for School” program provides the orphans with goats whose milk and offspring help offset the cost of their education.

Smile Seekers demonstrates Riverside as a Unified City – people coming together for common goals and interests for the betterment of all.

For more information on Smile Seekers, contact Jim Baldwin at (951) 452-9212 or visit their webpage.

 

Volunteers Build Playground At Salvation Army

(This article contains excerpts from an article written by Staff Reporters at The Press Enterprise and published in The Press Enterprise on November 12, 2014.)

Volunteers from the Salvation Army Riverside Corps, Humana Inc., and the community helped build a playground in Riverside on Nov. 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Saramaya Weissman from Edelman
Volunteers from the Salvation Army Riverside Corps, Humana Inc., and the community helped build a playground in Riverside on Nov. 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Saramaya Weissman from Edelman

Volunteers from the Salvation Army Riverside Corps, Humana Inc., organizers from KaBOOM! and the community helped to build a playground in Riverside on Saturday. The playground went up in about five hours with the help of 200 volunteers. Efforts like this reflect the Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar by bringing the community together for a common interest of creating a safe place for kids to play.

The customized, multigenerational playground, funded primarily by Humana Inc. (a health and wellness company), was created with personal drawings and input from local community members – from children to seniors – during a special design event in September. It includes senior-focused and adult elements, including fitness stations and walking paths, to promote good posture, balance and flexibility – as well as more traditional, kid-friendly equipment to create a multigenerational space.

The 2,695 square-foot playground is at the Salvation Army Riverside Corps Community Center.

For the full article, click here.

Aleph Group Inc. Fights Against Food Insecurity in the Community

(This article contains excerpts from the press release published by Shane Hupp, Ticker Report on October 30,2014.)

Aleph Group Inc. serves, seeks and shares the positive impact in the fight against food insecurity in the community, United States and around the world; by manufacturing specialty vehicles and mobile solutions.

Photo Credit: Aleph Group, Inc.
Photo Credit: Aleph Group, Inc.

Aleph Group Inc. felt a driven purpose in the fight against food insecurity and wanted to impact people’s lives. AGI and Family Service Association of Redlands partnered together and created a fundraiser event “Feeding with a Purpose,” to benefit this cause. By generating this fundraiser Aleph Group Inc. wanted to build momentum into the Feeding Angles initiative. Feeding Angels is focused on extinguishing child food insecurity in America and around the globe. Through partnerships with businesses and community based organizations, for every specialty vehicle or mobile solution that AGI designs and manufactures Aleph Group Inc. will donate a portion of the proceeds to feed a food insecure child three meals a day for an entire year. AGI is another example of a Riverside company leading the way in philanthropy and demonstrating what makes Riverside such a unified city.

For the full press release, click here.

Car Giveaway Changes Lives

(This article contains excerpts from article by Kevin J Keckeisen, published in The Press Enterprise on October 26, 2014.)

Roshard and Michelle Fairman enjoy their restored 2010 Toyota Camry given to them by Ben Clymer's The Body Shop in Moreno Valley, which volunteered more than 200 hours to fix the vehicle and partnered with several organizations. The family also received one year of insurance, had the DMV fees paid, and received a trunk full of groceries. Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise, Kevin J. Keckeisen
Roshard and Michelle Fairman enjoy their restored 2010 Toyota Camry given to them by Ben Clymer’s The Body Shop in Moreno Valley, which volunteered more than 200 hours to fix the vehicle and partnered with several organizations. The family also received one year of insurance, had the DMV fees paid, and received a trunk full of groceries. Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise, Kevin J. Keckeisen

When Roshard and Michelle Fairman’s car broke down in 2011, they couldn’t afford to fix it.

Michelle, who is deaf and blind, walked their three children to school every day. Roshard bought a bike and drove seven miles to work at the Ross Stores Distribution Center in Moreno Valley. At the grocery store, they would load supplies into three backpacks and walk home.

Their lives changed Thursday, when Ben Clymer’s The Body Shop gave them a restored 2010 Toyota Camry with fewer than 60,000 miles, one year of insurance and a trunk full of groceries. The shop also covered the DMV fees.

“I’m not really used to receiving things,” Roshard Fairman said. “I don’t apply for contests or things like that.”

His wife said the car means the family can to go church again.

“We haven’t been to church for four years now,” she said. “It’d be nice to go again as a family.”

Michelle Fairman also is excited about going to family gatherings again, and visiting her 93-year-old grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s.

This is the 11th car in six years that Clymer’s shop has given away to a family in need through its five locations in Moreno Valley, Riverside, Yucaipa, Palm Desert and Pomona. The staff volunteered more than 200 hours to fix the vehicle. Ben Clymer’s shop will be holding another Benevolence Car event in Riverside on November 13th. The Benevolence Car event is an example of the compassionate community in Riverside that joins together as a Unified City to support each other in times of need.

The company partnered with Automobile Club of Southern California, Martin Auto Color, PPG Finishes, P&D Wholesale, Enterprise Rent A Car, Bud’s Tire & Wheel, Precision Auto Glass and Community Connect to make it happen.

Community Connect, a Riverside nonprofit, collected applications and whittled them to about 20, factoring in household income and need. Clymer’s office narrowed it down to five, and the whole crew voted on which family would benefit most from the car….

For the rest of the article, click here.

Riverside Named “Coolest” City

(This article includes excerpts from the article written by David Danelski, published in The Press Enterprise on October 23, 2014.)

Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey, center, leads the pack at a “Bike with the Mayor” event held in March 2013. The city won a statewide contest that fostered bicycle riding and other measures to the reduce carbon emissions linked to climate change. Photo credit: Press Enterprise, David Bauman
Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey, center, leads the pack at a “Bike with the Mayor” event held in March 2013. The city won a statewide contest that fostered bicycle riding and other measures to the reduce carbon emissions linked to climate change. Photo credit: The Press Enterprise, David Bauman

To reduce his contribution to global warming, Taher Bhaigee started taking a bus from his home in Riverside’s Canyon Crest neighborhood to his job downtown. “I bought a monthly pass, and that really reduced my driving,” said Bhaigee, 23, a recent UC Riverside graduate who works as an intern in the mayor’s office. Bhaigee also replaced his incandescent lights with energy-efficient CFC bulbs. He was also more careful about turning off the air conditioner and lights when they weren’t needed.

Bhaigee was among more than 1,100 Riverside residents who tracked their energy savings online and helped the city win a contest sponsored by state air quality officials to encourage people to slash their energy use. The California Air Resources Board announced winners in the CoolCalifornia City Challenge on Thursday at a meeting in Diamond Bar. Riverside edged out runners-up Claremont and Rancho Cucamonga to be the “coolest city” in California.

Another Riverside resident, Ryan Bullard, worked on big-ticket items to reduce his carbon footprint. “I have all LED lighting, an efficient AC unit and all energy efficiency appliances from washer to fridge,” said Bullard, who works for Riverside’s electric utility. “In fact, I use about half of the energy a typical household in Riverside uses. “I also frequently walk to work, dinner and more since I live about a half mile from downtown,” Bullard said.

Bhaigee and Ryan are everyday examples of Riversiders working together to address local issues and building an even more Unified City.

For the complete article, click here.

What have YOU done to slash energy use? Let us know and comment below.

UCR Ranks 3rd in Nation for Hispanics

(This article includes excerpts from the study published in BestColleges.com on October 27, 2014.)

Photo Credit: UCR Today
Photo Credit: UCR Today

In a nationwide study, the University of California, Riverside made the Top 50 Colleges for Hispanic Students list, according to BestColleges.com.

The rankings, based on Hispanic enrollment and graduation rates, and were created to help students transition from high school to higher education, the site said.

“Many Hispanic students are the first in their families to attend college, so it is important for them to find a support system that will help them navigate degrees, financial aid and their school and social obligations,” the study’s reads.

All the schools on the list offer a cultural center, as well as degree programs and scholarships, for Hispanics.

According to the Pew Research Center, the percentage of Hispanic students that enrolled in higher education after graduating high school surpassed that percentage for white students last year, marking the first in history. Also, the dropout rate for Hispanics continues to decline, dropping from about 23 percent in 2008 to about 15 percent in 2012.

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.

For the complete story, click here.

“Ideas Worth Spreading”: TEDx Riverside Speakers United By Ideas

(This article contains excerpts from article by Kurt Miller, published in the Press-Enterprise on October 16,2014.)

TEDx Riverside brought together 20 speakers for an eight-hour marathon of inspiration on Thursday at the Fox Performing Arts Center.   TED conferences are brought to communities throughout the world to encourage a convergence of technology, design and entertainment.  To promote education, TEDx Riverside gave 500 tickets to local high schools and filled the balcony with teenagers. It provided buses and lunch for students of Riverside Unified School District.  

“Everybody in this room is a lifelong learner,” Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey declared in his opening remarks.

Nobel Prize winner and UC Riverside alumni Richard Schrock.  Photo credit: City of Riverside
Nobel Prize winner and UC Riverside alumni Richard Schrock. Photo credit: City of Riverside

Most of the speakers had Inland ties, but many have wide renown.  They included Nobel laureate Richard Schrock, who earned his bachelor’s degree from UC Riverside in 1967 and is now a chemistry professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Another UCR graduate was Steve Breen, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for editorial cartooning and a children’s author.

Among the more unusual presentations was performance artist Gregory Adamson creating a 6-by-6-foot painting of John Lennon in 11 minutes, accompanied by a medley of Lennon and Beatles songs. Photo credit: Fielding Buck
Among the more unusual presentations was performance artist Gregory Adamson creating a 6-by-6-foot painting of John Lennon in 11 minutes, accompanied by a medley of Lennon and Beatles songs. Photo credit: Fielding Buck

The TEDx Riverside event was a model of all the Seizing Our Destiny pillars.  Riversiders from of all ages and backgrounds attended the event on Thursday October, 16 as a unified city with a common interest to be entertained and inspired.  Although each speaker was completely different, they all seem to be on the same wavelength of maximizing personal potential and advocating intelligent growth in our community.  Riverside is a city that honors and builds on its assets to become a location of choice that catalyzes innovation in all forms, while enhancing quality of life.

To read more about TEDx Riverside, click here.

Seminars To Explore Diversity At UC Riverside

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Bettye Miller, published in UCRToday on October 10, 2014.)

UC Riverside’s Center for Ideas and Society has been awarded a $208,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a two-year series of seminars exploring diversity at UCR and in Southern California.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awards $208,000 grant to Center for Ideas and Society.  Photo credit: UCRToday
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awards $208,000 grant to Center for Ideas and Society. Photo credit: UCRToday

The seminar series – “Advancing Intercultural Studies” – will examine changing perceptions of ethnic, cultural and cosmopolitan identities, the practices of immigrant religions and developments in civic and political engagement, said Georgia Warnke, distinguished professor of political science and director of the center.

As one of the most diverse public research universities in the country, UCR is uniquely positioned to explore questions about the benefits and challenges of diversity, she said, among them, “how do we capture the contributions of a diverse student population, and how do we enhance learning from that?”

Because of UCR’s undergraduate demographics – 42 percent are under-represented minorities – the inclusion of undergraduate and graduate students in the seminars is important in its creation of a pipeline to increase the diversity of American university and college faculty, Warnke said.

The enrichment of diversity among students at UC Riverside is not only remarkable, it plays a key role in making Riverside such a unified city.  It is vital for college campus’ to analyze changes in ethnic and cultural perceptions and adapt to maintain a healthy atmosphere for students.  Riversiders respect and value the cultural heritage, distinct needs and varied input within our community, while proactively engaging across historical dividing lines.

Georgia Warnke
Georgia Warnke

The first of four quarterly seminars will begin meeting in January. Each seminar will be composed of four faculty members, and four graduate and four undergraduate students, each of whom will write a paper based on research produced during the quarter. The seminars are not open to the public, but a concluding conference in spring 2016 will be held at UCR’s Culver Center in downtown Riverside and will be a public event.

To read more, click here.