Category Archives: Unified City

CBU Listed On 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Honor Roll

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in CBU News & Events on December 8, 2014.)

Photo Credit: CBU
Photo Credit: CBU

California Baptist University has been listed on the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Honor Roll for exemplary community service. Approximately 700 institutions qualified for the list nationwide.

“The President’s Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions whose community service efforts achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities,” said Ted Miller, chief of external affairs for the Corporation for National and Community Service. “This distinction is the highest federal recognition colleges and universities can receive for community service, service-learning and civic engagement. This recognition is part of our strategic commitment to engage millions of college students in service and celebrate the critical role of higher education in strengthening communities.”

To qualify, CBU submitted a lengthy application outlining the university’s community service and service learning participation. Students, faculty and staff contributed more than 600,000 service hours in 2013, with a value of more than $16 million to the community.

Riverside as a unified city is demonstrated by CBU’s staff, students and faculty in their compassion for and engagement with one another. They are working together to build our community and accelerate the common good for all.

To read the full article, click here.

Riverside Youth Judo Club Competes At The Largest Judo Tournament

Riverside Youth Judo Club is lined up in the middle. (Largest group of competitors)
Riverside Youth Judo Club is lined up in the middle. (Largest group of competitors)

The Riverside Youth Judo Club, a project of the Police Activities League, competed at the largest National Judo Tournament in the U.S. Saturday, December 6, 2014.  There were 709 competitors from all over the country (as far as New York, South Carolina, Florida, and Hawaii), along with a total of 100 veteran, long-standing judo clubs.

The two-year old “fledgling” judo club brought the largest group of fighters to the event.  The club had 50 competitors, many of which had never previously competed.  They are a charitable, non-profit club and have many students (about 50%) who are economically disadvantaged and sponsored by the City and Police Activities League.  They had several generous contributions from members of the Riverside Police Department and the judo club who helped sponsor many of the competitors, covering their $50 entrance fee.  They were able to fundraise the rest with Candy and Apple sales.

Riverside Youth Judo Club finished the day ranked as the #3 Top-Winning club of the tournament (again, out of 100 judo clubs attending).  They were only outdone by the 2nd largest judo club in the Country (Goltz Club) and the historical and aggressive Hayastan club.  The club outperformed 96 Judo clubs represented at the National Tournament!

It’s great that youth involved in the Judo Club have an opportunity to compete and do well because of the generosity of a community that cares.  Sponsorships and hard work from the City and Police Activities League continually model Riverside as a unified city.

To read more about the Riverside Youth Judo Club, click here.

CBU Program Helps International Students Feel Connected

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in CBU News & Events on December 4, 2014)

Photo Credit: CBU
Photo Credit: CBU

Going to college is a big adjustment for anyone. Going to college in a foreign country makes the adjustment even bigger. California Baptist University has a program in place to help international students feel at home and connected.

The American Family Program, operated by the International Center, gives international students a family here in Riverside to serve as a support system far from home, said Marie King, a graduate assistant at the International Center. Students from Rwanda and students enrolled in the Intensive English Program are required to be in the family program, but all international students are welcome to be part of it, King said.

She finds families from the staff at CBU and local churches. Each student and family fills out a profile and then are matched. The commitment for families and students is for at least the academic year, with the potential of being longer, King said. Families have the students over for the holidays and often get together throughout the school year for other activities. Both sides are expected to communicate weekly.

Ken Sanford, student teacher supervisor, and his wife, Denise, started as a host family last year for two Chinese students and are continuing this year with those students. Sanford has been to China through participation in International Service Projects for five years in a row, and he has gotten to know international students at CBU. Sanford and his wife have had the students over for meals, gone out for dinner and visited an amusement park. They touch base with each other almost every day.

It’s essential for international students to feel supported while far away from home, King said. The International Center also offers the Intensive English Program, helps run International Chapel and holds events for international students, such as a Disneyland trip and International Celebration Week, in hopes that they will connect with other students.

The American Family Program is a great representation of Seizing our Destiny’s unified city pillar. We are a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all. The long-standing diversity of the City provides a comfortable home for people from all backgrounds, cultures and interests – Riverside is a city for everyone and by everyone.

To read the full article, click here.

Smiles For Seniors Program Going Strong After 16 Years

Smile Seekers

(This article contains excerpts from 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”.


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.