OPTIMIST YOUTH HOMES & FAMILY SERVICES
2016 SUMMER NEWSLETTER
PLUS Executive Director’s Message Where Are They Now? Honor Roll of Donors Staff Hero S. Mark Taper Foundation Awards $50,000 Grant to Optimist . . .
Cinco de Mayo Staff Appreciation Picnic
On May 4, we held a Cinco de Mayo themed staff appreciation picnic complete with a taco bar, music, games, prizes, popcorn, gelato and loads of laughter. Our staff work incredibly hard and this is one small way we can show just how much we appreciate their dedication, loyalty and commitment to our kids.
Watching the Dodgers in Style
On Sunday, June 5, McCourt Global (http://mg.com/) invited twenty of our residents to sit in their Luxury Suite at Dodger Stadium for the LA Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves game. The kids had a wonderful time and it was definitely a highlight of their year.
Thank you, McCourt Global, for graciously enabling our youth to experience such a unique and special opportunity!
Larry & Ronna Brown Continue to
For the third year in a row, longtime Optimist board member Larry Brown and his wife, Ronna, donated $10,000 to support our vital services and programs for at-risk youth and families. Thank you from the bottom of our heart, Larry and Ronna. Your commitment to Optimist is exceptional and we are so grateful to both of you.
Off to College You Go!
Congratulations to Darryl R., a youth in our Foster Family program, who was recently accepted into California State University, Los Angeles.
Darryl is extremely excited and is looking into the possibility of living in the campus dormitory in addition to exploring the THP-Plus program, which provides 24 months of supportive housing to former foster youth, age 18 to 24, with the goal of reducing homelessness among this population. Good luck, Darryl!
PLEASE INCLUDE OPTIMIST IN YOUR WILL
Please consider including OYHFS in your will. We who have devoted our professional life in the charitable world have seen the great good a bequest can provide for our ultimate beneficiary, Optimist Youth Homes and Family Services. Indeed, estate gifts help us serve future generations.
Development Director, Jennifer D’Alvarez, is available to talk with you confidentially about your gift and estate plans, and to assist you in finding a qualified attorney. Contact her at (323) 443- 3023; Email: [email protected]
Governing Board Volunteer of the Year Longtime supporter and board member, Lenna Welling, received the Volunteer of the Year Award at our annual governing board dinner in June.
Lenna has represented the Pacific Southwest District of Optimist International on our board for some four years now. She regularly participates in all agency events, represents us at Optimist International district quarterlies, consistently donates to our annual Gala, has 100% attendance at board meetings, drives other board members to meetings and events, contributes to and works incredibly hard on the annual Festival of Trees event and simply never says no when asked to do something for the agency.
We are grateful for Lenna’s tremendous support and congratulate her on this honor.
The Optimist Book Club
The recently formed Optimist Book Club is a vehicle for residents to discuss books they’ve read at weekly meetings. Members are all given the same book and during meetings, discuss the chapters they’ve read and the themes that are developing. Participants analyze characters and their decisions in relationship to themselves. This allows the residents to relate to characters in the book, and also to each other. They are also prompted to analyze the literature by recognizing elements of figurative language, imagery, and aspects of the plot, like foreshadowing.
The book club members are encouraged to annotate in their books, as they are allowed to keep it. Once everyone finishes the book, we hold a party at which they eat snacks, play a game that relates to the book, or watch the movie based on the book.
Optimist Book Club’s main purpose is to encourage reading and learning in a fun and positive setting. The aim is to provide a new experience and a new story for the residents to reflect on, relate to, and gain insight from. We applaud our dedicated staff member Kara Leigh Huse for creating and heading up this worthwhile program.
We are incredibly grateful for the support we receive from our donors who make it possible for us to continue providing much needed services and programs to at-risk youth and their families. Recently, we received a generous $50,000 grant from the Rose Hills Foundation for general operating support. We also received $25,000 from The Green Foundation and $10,000 from The Goodwin Family Memorial Trust, both for general operating support, as well as $5,000 from Capital Group Companies to help outfit our main campus with LED lighting.
We rely on our individual, corporate and foundation supporters and are incredibly grateful for their continued belief in our mission and for their willingness to fund such imperative programs and initiatives.
S . M a r k Ta p e r F o u n d a t i o n A w a r d s $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 G r a n t t o O p t i m i s t
Optimist Youth Homes & Family Services was recently awarded a $50,000 general operating grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation to support our mission. “We are grateful for the S. Mark Taper Foundation’s investment in this agency, which will have a lasting effect on the entire community,” said Sil Orlando, executive director of OYHFS. “The S. Mark Taper Foundation’s continued support of our programs has benefited many people in the community as we work to accomplish our mission.”
Incorporated in 1989, The S. Mark Taper Foundation is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of people’s lives by supporting nonprofit organizations and their work in our communities.