Tag Archives: Community Service

Riverside Real Estate Team Teaches ‘Sidewalk CPR’ To Hundreds

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Debra Gruszecki and published in The Press Enterprise on May 18, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Debra Gruszecki, The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: Debra Gruszecki, The Press Enterprise

Keller Williams Realty professionals from Riverside had a RED-letter day Thursday, as they performed good deeds in the name of good health.

Sixty agents and associates joined the American Heart Association to promote hands-only CPR at six locations in Riverside.

The approach, known as sidewalk CPR, takes two steps to help save a life: First, dial 911. Second, place the palm of your hand in the center of the chest, and push hard and fast to the beat of the classic disco song, “Stayin’ Alive.” (I’m not making that part up.)

Sam Othman, a Realtor since 1985 who was part of the Keller Williams team, said the brother of his manager at the Market Center office at 7898 Mission Grove Parkway credits sidewalk CPR with saving his life.

He is alive today because a bystander performed hands-only CPR, Othman said.

Hearing that story was enough to make believers out of the team.

noej2n-b88409509z.120150515102309000gir9oti0.10Keller Williams agents and associates have participated in an annual day of “Renewing, Energizing and Donating” to local communities across the U.S. since 2009. The event varies from office to office, and year to year.

“It’s been great serving the community,” Alice Bechtel said, as she and two other colleagues, Paula Moisio and Banesha Baker, gave a CPR demonstration to Sam Luke at LA Fitness, one of 239 people trained Thursday.

Booths also were set up at Anytime Fitness, Albertsons, the Riverside County Administration Center and two other LA Fitness locations.

“Hopefully now, someone will use this to help save a life,” Realtor Brent Bechtel said.

Keller Williams’ 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.

For the full article, click here.

Volunteer Action For Aging Helps Seniors Create Art And Stimulate Minds

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Anne Marie Walker and published in The Press Enterprise on May 18, 2015.)

Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise

Seniors and students gathered this month at the Magnolia Grand Senior Living Center in Riverside for an afternoon of collage-making and trading stories.

The event was organized by Volunteer Action for Aging, a nonprofit group focused on improving the lives of senior citizens across Southern California. UC Riverside’s chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity, sent students to the May 1 event to help the seniors create art.

The class consisted of seven ladies and two tables full of magazines, utensils and cardboard paper. Veora Erwin, a retired artist whose work has been showcased at the Riverside Art Museum, was in attendance to present her work to the other seniors, some of whom had never made a collage before. Erwin displayed three pieces – all abstract pieces predominantly in tan and green. Erwin said she makes collages because she strives to be original and believes that “a true artist never copies.”

Another resident artist was Laura White, who created a collage titled “Bad Trip,” featuring a car and a picture of two people standing in front of an explosion. Plastered all over the walls of the workroom were her drawings of owls. She became fascinated with them after taking a class called Brain Strains, also operated at the center, where she learned about the animal.

“They like to keep you stimulated here,” she said.

Also present were students from Alpha Phi Omega. Christine Billones, a second-year psychology major, said the fraternity teamed up with Volunteer Action for Aging to help their community.

“I’ve never (had)] a chance to do this, and when I joined Alpha Phi Omega I had the opportunity to help and meet new people,” she said.

The students helped residents cut out paper and create designs while sharing stories.

Jan Derny, a retired schoolteacher, had said it was her first time making a collage, but had decided that it “wasn’t (her) forte.”

“I need a focal point to make something,” Derny said. “I like quilting better.” Derny, however, was very appreciative of the students’ charity work. “It’s nice of them to volunteer their time and it’s nice to meet young people.”

Giselle Cruz, the volunteer coordinator for Volunteer Action for Aging, was excited by the turnout.

“We work to keep seniors out of the nursing home and very happy and independent.” Cruz, said adding that the organization recruits mostly through volunteermatch.org and hopes to have more volunteers for future events.

Events like this truly demonstrates what makes Riverside such a unified city. 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 about volunteering, contact Cruz at 562-637-7110 or visit independenceathome.org.

Mobile Medical Clinic About To Hit The Streets Of Riverside

(This article contains excerpts take from the Health to Hope Clinics website on April 9, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Health to Hope Clinics
Photo Credit: Health to Hope Clinics

The Grove Community Church received their mobile medical clinic last Tuesday, April 7. The mobile clinic has two exams rooms and wheelchair ramp which will be ready to serve the community sometime this weekend.  The mobile clinic is part of a larger effort known to Riversiders as Health to Hope Clinics, which is the only federally funded primary care medical outreach organization dedicated to serving homeless individuals and families in Riverside County.

The Grove Community Church is an outstanding example of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar. They demonstrate that we’re a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.

About Health to Hope:

Urban Community Action Projects (UCAP) dba Health to Hope Clinics (established in 2010) was born of Path of Life Ministries (POLM) Health in Motion (HIM), a response to Riverside County’s public health crises that arose from the economic downturn.

In 2009, POLM, in partnership with Riverside Community Health Foundation, implemented HIM staffed by volunteer providers to serve urban homeless residing in the City of Riverside. The model was so successful that POLM subsequently sponsored UCAP’s 501 (c) start-up which now includes the provision of health services from three fixed sites, the expansion of mobile medical services to now include Jurupa Valley in addition to the city of Riverside, and on-site partnerships with homeless service providers across Riverside County.

​ At Health to Hope, Homeless Health Care, patients receive care from providers experienced in meeting their with their medical complexity, aware of potential behavioral health issues and respectful of their struggles. Through the intake, assessment and treatment process, the behavioral health needs and dental needs of each patient are identified. The clinicians recognize the opportunity that primary care provides-an opportunity to heal the present issue and address the other issues through a model of care that integrates primary care, behavioral health care, dental care and case management services.

The Grove Community Church is currently seeking medical professionals to volunteer for the clinic. If you wish to volunteer, click here to get more information.

Riverside Couple Collaborates To Better The Lives Of Others

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Melanie C. Johnson and published in The Press Enterprise on March 13, 2015.)

Damien and Jenn O'Farrell with one-year-old daughter Marleigh. The couple, dedicated to community service, won a Riverside Heroes Award late last year. Photo Credit: Melanie Johnson, Contributing Photographer
Damien and Jenn O’Farrell with one-year-old daughter Marleigh. The couple, dedicated to community service, won a Riverside Heroes Award late last year. Photo Credit: Melanie Johnson, Contributing Photographer

Riverside residents Damien and Jennifer “Jenn” O’Farrell see their desire to serve their community as just a part of who they are.

For Damien, a former church youth pastor, it’s his calling. Jenn traces it back to her childhood, when she would go with her mom to visit her great grandfather at a senior-living facility. They would cap the day by going to the rooms of other residents to offer greetings.

Besides their jobs and their respective leadership roles for other nonprofits, such as Operation SafeHouse and Today’s Urban Renewal Network, the couple also volunteers for community organizations and initiatives. Jenn serves on the Riverside Community Health Foundation’s board and is a three-term past board president of the YWCA. While involved in Riverside’s leadership program, she and others in her class created an annual bike ride that benefits the Riverside and Alvord Unified school districts. The event, the Riverside Citrus City Classic, is in its fourth year.

Damien serves on the Riverside Neighborhood Partnership and both he and Jenn worked with others to co-found Pick Group, an organization that brings young professionals together to socialize and find ways to impact the community socially.

Damien has been at the helm of Path of Life Ministries in Riverside for seven years. His organization has three shelter programs for homeless individuals and families with children. Most of the 1,500 people the nonprofit serves in its shelters are children under the age of 10, he said.

Other nonprofits Path of Life has launched include Health to Hope Clinics, which offers medical services to people in need, and Path of Life Enterprises, a transitional employment program. The first business opened under that program is Angel Wings Bakery, which sells its goods online, he said.

Jenn has been with the newly formed Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire chapter for a year. The program serves at-risk children and youth ages 6 to 18, providing them with a one-on-one mentor. Before this post, she previously co-facilitated a task force on human trafficking.

In working with victims of human trafficking, she said she learned from the teen girls she served that if they had positive role models and mentors earlier in life, their lives might have taken a different path.

“Seventy-five percent of those we serve come from single-family homes and are at risk for homelessness or gang violence, so mentors are needed at the tipping point to point them in another direction,” she said. “All of us have had a mentor at some point. While our mentors happen naturally, it’s not happening for the children we serve.”

Damien said while some may see problems such as homelessness or human trafficking as impenetrable, he feels efforts to make the community better do have an impact.

“It’s important for all of us to do what we can to better the lives of other people,” he said. “There’s a tangible cost to homelessness, and there is also an opportunity cost. Bringing families stability is what opens them up to generations of opportunity and following dreams instead of generations of poverty.”

Damien and Jenn exemplify Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar. Riversiders such as Damien and Jenn are working together everyday to not only address local issues, but to also have a positive impact on the region, nation, and the world.

To read the full article, click here.

Homeless Families To Benefit From 3rd Annual Fundraiser

(This article contains excerpts from www.thepathoflife.com and retrieved on March 2, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Path of Life Ministries
Photo Credit: Path of Life Ministries

Sheltering Hearts benefiting Path of Life Ministries will be holding it’s 3rd annual fundraising event on March 21, 2015.

Path of Life Ministries is a dynamic group of community-minded individuals serving our city since 1998. They’ve become a premier non-profit service agency committed to serving the greater Riverside homeless, challenged youth and family population with the goal to rescue, restore and rebuild lives in our community. One of their core guiding principles is grounded in partnering with the community. They accomplish this by extending their services with their local collaborative partners, other providers and support agencies. This contributes to a holistic, community based solution that improves the social, economic and spiritual health and vitality of the poor, homeless, at risk youth and families.

Path of Life Ministries addresses significant barriers of dysfunction with people in crisis including children and families. Families are met first at their place of largest need with food, shelter and stabilization services; the rescue point. Next, the process of restoring and rebuilding begins through compassionate case management, housing, health care services, community resources and wrap around services that are provided to promote self-sufficiency and family restoration.

Path of Life Ministries’ current capacity is 373 beds per night and serves the community in the areas of:

  • Homelessness – two Emergency Shelters and one Transitional Housing Program with supportive services through a comprehensive case management plan that sets goals to attain an independent life and prevent the cycle of homelessness
  • Recovery Services –  of people with alcohol/substance abuse or other dysfunctional behaviors that prevent self sufficiency in three Christian-based congregate living homes
  • Youth Services  – for challenged,  at-risk children and youth population
  • Health Care Services – ‘Health in Motion’, offered through our partner organization Health to Hope, provides mobile medical vehicle and two fixed sites that deliver primary care healthcare services to the homeless.

Path of Life Ministries is an outstanding example of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar- people coming together for common goals and interests for the betterment of all.

To purchase your tickets or find out more information about the Sheltering Hearts event, click here.

For more information on Path of Life Ministries, contact their main office at (951) 275-8755 or visit their website.

La Sierra Service-Learning Class Fulfills After School Program Pledge

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Darla Martin Tucker and published in La Sierra News/Events on December 23, 2014.)

Photo Credit: La Sierra
Photo Credit: La Sierra

With ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ like it was Christmas morning, dozens of students at Stokoe Elementary School in Riverside stretched to view the colorful stacks of games, art supplies, school supplies and sporting goods filling their school’s stage.

The bounty, intended for the after school programs at Stokoe and at Wells Middle School, included paint sets, marker sets, painting canvases, packs of paper and pencils, educational games, soccer and volley balls, tennis balls, volleyball, badminton, and soccer goal nets and a 32-inch Toshiba LED television.

The goods were unveiled during a special assembly on Dec. 9, and were purchased with $3,909.49 raised during the fall academic quarter by 14 La Sierra University Senior Project business students led by Jere Fox, an associate law and management professor at the Zapara School of Business. The effort capped a pledge Fox made two-and-a-half years ago to Carmen Phillips, After School Programs coordinator for the Alvord Unified School District, that his Senior Project classes would raise funds to benefit all 16 Alvord After School programs. Donations to Stokoe and Wells schools this month fulfilled the promise. All told, Fox’s six classes since spring 2012 have delivered to Alvord’s 16 after school programs a total of $22,556.53 in products paid for with student fundraising efforts.

The donation from Fox’s class also helps the district reach matching fund goals for state grants that pay for after school programming, she said.

“The After School Programs in Alvord are funded by an After School Education and Safety grant from the State of California. We are required yearly to provide documentation of matching funds to be considered in good standing with the state,” said Phillips. “In the 2013-2014 school year, we were required to have in-kind matching funds of $1,073,112.19.”

As part of an academic service-learning program, the business students in Fox’s class visited Stokoe and Wells early in the quarter to determine the needs of the After School programs and then created a fundraising business plan to help meet those needs.  The university requires undergraduate students to perform 14 hours per student per quarter of community service. This quarter the student’s in Fox’s class contributed a total of 291 service-learning hours outside of the classroom, with more than 95 of those hours voluntarily contributed above the required minimum hours. The business students in Fox’s six Senior Project classes over the past two-and-a-half years voluntarily contributed to the after school program project an additional 884 hours above the minimum required hours, for a combined total of 3,474 hours of service-learning outside of the classroom.

The generosity and care shown by all of the La Sierra University students is a model of Riverside acting as a unified city.  Riversiders collaborate and work together to build our community and accelerate the common good for all.  We are a caring community that has great compassion and engages with one another for a better life for all.

To read the full article, click here.

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.