GML Provides Airbnb Temporary Housing for Resilient Young Adult

An 18-year-old, whom we will call “Resilient”, was kicked out of his father’s home due to his father’s mental health issues. Resilient faced becoming homeless when DCFS was unable to secure housing options including foster care, hotel vouchers and shelters. That’s when GML stepped in, providing Resilient with an Airbnb until transitional living becomes available to him.

Resilient’s DCFS Social Worker, Thomas, connected with Kathy Lee, Director of Community Services for GML requesting urgently needed housing for that night.  It was first explained to Thomas that Kathy, like all members of GML, is a volunteer, and that she currently attends night school working towards her Master of Marriage and Family Therapy at USC. But, Kathy would do her best to secure housing for Resilient as quickly as possible.

Thomas’ text to Kathy’s quick action says it all… “Kathy, you are amazing.  Thank you so much for your support!  Please go to your class tonight and tell the class and the professor that you are the reason Resilient will not be on the streets tonight! Thank you so so so so much!”

To further support Resilient, GML has offered to mentor him as he transitions into the adult phase of his life by helping him enroll in vocational or educational training and find a job.

Noticeably, Resilient truly lives up to the name we call him in this article. The first morning he woke in his Airbnb room, he quickly dressed and hit the nearby area to apply for jobs. It warms our heart to see how a gift of safe shelter helps this 18 year old work towards an independent future. Stay tuned as we mentor him on to a career that will help him thrive.

Angel, Joyce and Ava Visit The GML Shop

Angel, featured in an earlier update on our website, was on hospice for stage 4 metastatic carcinoma but is now in remission. She is thriving and expecting her first baby, a boy! Although this pregnancy was a surprise, Angel just says “I know God has a plan for me.”

In 2019, Angel hosted a ‘Wish’-type dinner for teen foster girls, one of whom was Joyce, pictured above with her baby Ava. They met up for the first time since the ‘Wish’ dinner at the GML Shop, only to learn they live only a couple of blocks from one another in LA. They are excited to set mommy and baby playdates in the near future. GML has an enduring bond with Angel, Joyce and Ava, staying in touch via regular calls, visits and texting.

If you would like to donate any items to our free shop, please contact Adria, Shop Manager, at (626) 391-9147 to schedule a drop off or pick up. You will be provided a tax receipt for your donations.

We are currently seeking the following items:

  • Teenage Girl or Young Adult Clothing (Casual)
  • Toiletries (Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash, Lotion)
  • Duffel Bags or Small Suitcases
  • Baby Clothes
  • Car seats
  • Strollers
  • Breast Pumps
  • Diaper Bags
  • Any Baby Items Excepted

 

Success Spotlight: Congrats Hali!

Congratulations, Hali! She has worked very hard to get into Dartmouth College, and now she is on her way.

Sadly, the unexpected passing of her father, who was also her main financial supporter, has caused her tremendous stress. Hali visited the GML Shop and was presented with a check for $4,000 to help ease the financial stress and burden with upcoming tuition and living expenses.

Hali is very proud to be the first generation in her family to attend college. She will be majoring in Physics with Applied Engineering and minoring in Hispanic/Latino Studies.

Her goal is to work with Boeing or NASA, and to become a physicist or aeronautical engineer. We will keep you updated on Hali’s progress during her great adventures ahead.

Success Spotlight: Congrats Luis!

Congratulations to Luis, featured in an earlier GML update. Kathy Lee, Director of Community Services and Donna Pierson, Founder and President, were there to cheer Luis on at his graduation.

Luis, a reformed teenager who has experienced trauma and hardship due to gang violence, lost his upper front tooth when he was unexpectedly attacked and robbed.

GML, with the help from a supporter, is paying for the implant Luis needs to make his handsome smile permanent. More exciting news ahead as Luis enters college while supporting troubled youth at Homeboy Industries.

GIVE-MENTOR-LOVE Update: Summer 2021

GIVE-MENTOR-LOVE (GML) is busy supporting 3 group homes in LA County specializing in the care and healing of CSEC victims. Our volunteers host activities designed to teach social, life and coping skills. Some of the training we offer is sewing basics, art, crafts, music, ABCs of Money, dance, cooking, job readiness, and holiday parties having an emphasis on etiquette and proper social behavior and graces.

GML has also furnished one of these newly opened homes with personal supplies for the girls as well as therapeutic equipment needed for their healing process.

 

GML Mentor Program Updates

Often GML is asked to mentor victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking, but the depth of the damage for these victims was most evident in this request.

Zoe requested GML put money into a prison account so that a victim they rescued had money for phone calls and other incidentals. Of course we did and will continue to do so. But, this youth, who recently became an adult, also asked to be mentored as she serves her prison sentence that will span decades. We write, call, and visit her to remind her that she is still loved and not alone in the world.

Sadly, the trauma and suffering by victims of sexual abuse not only leads to desperate measures to survive and anger that cannot be controlled, but also addictions to drugs and alcohol to mask the pain of what they have experienced.

With another girl, it is taking a team of volunteers to mentor her now that she has turned 18. She has suffered sexual exploitation and now suffers from substance abuse. At the magical 18th birthday that most teens celebrate, she faces the horrible realization that she is about to lose all the support and guidance she once depended upon. So, what is next for her is a life on the streets as an addict and prostituting to survive.

These are just two examples that show the desperation and depth of trauma of those we try to heal.

 

GML Secures Functional Prosthetic Hand for Youth

B. lost his hand in a firecracker accident, in result B. withdrew from life, not attending school out of embarrassment and depression. GML’s Director of Community Services, Kathy Lee, spent endless hours exhausting every lead she could to find a functional prosthetic hand for B.

Finally, Cal State Dominguez Hills has offered to fit B. with a functional prosthetic hand without charge. The Clinical Instructor secured a hand from the manufacturer, and potentially all components will be donated with Dr. Mark donating time and other materials. B. has agreed to volunteer at 2 to 3 events for upcoming school projects. GML will pick up any other cost incurred to help B. move on in life.

 

GML Provides Funds for Youth’s Extensive Dental Work

LA County Division of Zoe International recently contacted GML about a sex trafficked youth who needs extensive dental work. The loss of all her teeth due to the physical assault and violent life on the streets causes the youth great anxiety, manifesting as self-harming behavior such as running away and hanging out with unsafe people.

A dental evaluation indicated $11,000 of dental work was needed. Zoe was able to secure $5,000 towards this work and GML will pay the $6,000 balance. A beautiful smile will help this youth heal from all the trauma she has suffered.

GML Mentor Program Success Stories: Spring 2021

2020 was a year that stopped a lot of people in their tracks, not knowing what to do next. For fifteen of Learning Works Charter School graduates who received their high school diplomas, it was no different.

Enter Kathy Lee, our Foundation’s Director of Community Services. She guides graduates through every step and obstacle of getting a job, enrolling in and achieving more training or education, and helps these young adults realize their dreams so they can thrive.

Kathy’s tenacious style of mentoring has produced 9 success stories and counting. Below are three recent success stories: Alejandra, Dalen and Luis.


Meet Alejandra

 

Alejandra is a single mother with a 2 year old son named Andre. Earlier this year, her son’s father passed away. She expressed needing help supporting her son and that she was interested in going back to school to become a Medical Assistant. Fast training programs are options that are available and attractive, but can also be very intense and expensive.

When looking for potential options, Monrovia Adult School had a Medical Assistant Program that Alejandra qualified for with tuition taken care of by the No Cost Training Program. Kathy met Alejandra for the first time on campus at Monrovia Adult School to help her enroll and have her take the enrollment assessment. For this program, she needed a laptop that Learning Works was willing and eager to provide. Her program started on December 1, 2020 with the Back of Office training portion, and then on March 6, 2021 for the Front of Office training.

During her enrollment in this program, Alejandra dealt with many personal struggles including the loss of her job and the loss of her son’s father. Learning Work’s College Counselor Mike Toro and Kathy were with her every step of the way, along with Job Developer at Monrovia Adult School, Ms. Chick. Towards the end of the program, Alejandra’s mentors (and cheerleaders) had virtual progress checks with her, and she hit every single milestone.

On May 27, 2021, Alejandra proudly walked across the stage at graduation in her maroon scrubs.


Meet Dalen

 

Dalen is a young gentleman who expressed that alongside his passion for fixing phones, he was interested in becoming a Pharmacy Technician. When looking into PT programs in the local area, Kathy found one at Monrovia Adult School. Together, they applied for a scholarship that allowed Dalen to enroll in the program for $650 in total, with the funds provided by GIVE-MENTOR-LOVE.

On January 23, 2021, Dalen began his Pharmacy Technician program. Throughout the course of the program, he was challenged by and faced many personal hurdles. However, Monrovia Adult School connected him with a mentor and tutor, TeDese Ross, to provide him guidance and support. TeDese changed Dalen’s life by empowering him with a new perspective and drive to achieve, and most importantly, never gave up on Dalen and motivated him to the finish line.

On May 27, 2021, Dalen proudly walked across the stage in his pharmacy coat at graduation having completed his program with the requirements to pass and to become certified. Dalen is now a Pharmacy Technician.


Meet Luis

 

Luis is a reformed teenager who has experienced trauma and hardship in his life due to gang violence. When unexpectedly attacked and robbed, Luis lost his upper front tooth. He has experienced a lot of family death this year which has made it necessary for him to financially support his sister and niece.

Luis is an intelligent young man who loves science and completed 75 credits his last year at Learning Works Charter School to achieve his high school diploma. His future is bright, currently attending East Los Angeles College while also working to help underprivileged youth at Homeboy Industries. But he needed a smile.

When asked to help, Robert Wheeler, D.D.S. of La Cañada very kindly made a temporary removable partial denture for Luis free of charge, along with other dental work. But, Luis needs an implant to make this smile permanent. This implant will cost $4,500. If you would like to help, any amount is greatly appreciated. Please donate on our website by clicking here and email Kathy (kathy.hlee@yahoo.com) of your gift. You will be provided a tax receipt for your gift. Thank you for your help.


A special thank you to the following individuals for playing a significant role in the success stories for these individuals:

Natalie Macchia, Monrovia Adult School Counselor
Ms. Escutia, Medical Assistant Program Teacher
Ms. Delgado, Pharmacy Tech Program Teacher
John Russel, Vice Principal
Flint Fertig, Director of Adult Education
Robert Wheeler, D.D.S. of La Cañada

GIVE-MENTOR-LOVE Update: Spring 2021

Hello, Friends.

Although the world has gone ‘virtual,’ GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation is and has been hands-on with support throughout the pandemic. Many of the youth and young adults we serve were already in-crisis before the pandemic. The request for support and mentoring increased exponentially during this time.

We GIVE.

Our funds and supplies have been greatly depleted serving the needs of our youth and young adults. So, it is time for a FUN-draiser. Please SAVE THE DATE and plan to join us LIVE and OUTDOORS. Sponsorship and ticket options will be available on our website soon for this fun party supporting the needs of those we serve.

GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation has opened a Shop exclusively for the youth and young adults we serve. Everything is free and there are no limits to how much they can take. To many who visit, like this Learning Works Charter School teen mom, it is like Christmas morning.

Amanda, who is 5 months pregnant, and her 3 year old son recently came to our Shop and left very happy with bottles, clothing, a car seat, and Alejandro left wearing new shorts with a fun remote control car.

We offer new and gently used items of all kinds. Youths are brought to shop by their Social Workers of LA County Specialized Bureau for Commercial Sexual Exploited Children & DCFS, Staff of LA County Division of Zoe International, and by Chasers for students of Learning Works Charter School. The need for donations is on-going, but currently we are very short on the supplies listed below.

You can learn more about our Shop here. If you can donate any of these items or others, please contact Adria, Shop Manager, at (626) 391-9147 to schedule a drop off or pick up. You will be provided a tax receipt for your donations.

Items Needed

Baby Items
Baby Strollers
Car Seats
Wipes
Diaper Bags

Hygiene
Shampoo/Conditioner
Shower Gel
Loofahs
Lotion
Toothbrush/Toothpaste

Clothing
Teenage Girls – Jeans, Sweatpants, T-Shirts/Tank Tops, Hoodies, Shorts
Women’s Underwear (new)
Ankle Socks

Bedding
Comforters
Sheets – Twin/Full
Standard Size Pillows

Furniture (Apartment Size)
Twin or Full Size Beds
Small Table and Chairs
Futons
Dressers

*New or gently used items preferred*

Our total GIVE since our February 2020 Super Heroes Fundraiser is approximately $165,000.

Thank you so very much. You are a true SuperHero saving the lives of those we serve.

We MENTOR.

Hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars were spent on mentoring foster care youths since our last fundraiser. It is indescribable the horrific agony suffered by these youth locked in a group home during the pandemic away from family and the world outside.

So, our Foundation’s Art Director, Ellen Lewis, along with other volunteers, made ‘how-to’ videos hosting weekly craft projects along with yummy treats to drop off at the homes. We also brought Wii machines and games, big screen TV, magazines, books, journals, art supplies, board games, DVDs, and much more.

We hosted Dinners of Thanks, Christmas Eve Parties with food, Santa and gifts galore, provided New Year’s Eve Party Packs, Valentine Gifts and Easter Baskets. And we finished the Community Room we were building to be used for training and special events for the foster youth

Fifteen of the 2020 Learning Works Charter School graduates received their high school diplomas but then stopped in their tracks not knowing what to do next. Enter Kathy Lee, our Foundation’s Director of Community Services. Simply said, Kathy’s tenacious style of mentoring has produced 9 success stories and counting. She guides each graduate through every step and obstacle of getting a job, enrolling and achieving more training or education, and finally realizing their dream so they can thrive. She is now taking on 40 new 2021 graduates. You can read much more about Kathy’s efforts by clicking here.

Please meet Luis, a reformed teenager who has experienced trauma and hardship due to gang violence. He doesn’t want to die in the streets. Luis lost his upper front tooth when he was unexpectedly attacked and robbed. He has experienced a lot of family death this year which has made it necessary for him to financially support his sister and niece.

Luis is an intelligent young man who loves science and did 75 credits his last year at Learning Works Charter School to achieve his high school diploma. His future is bright, currently attending East Los Angeles College and works to help underprivileged youth at Homeboy Industries. But he needed a smile. When asked to help, Robert Wheeler, D.D.S. of La Cañada very kindly made a temporary removable partial denture for Luis free of charge, along with other dental work. But, Luis needs an implant to make this smile permanent. This implant will cost $4,500. If you would like to help, any amount is greatly appreciated. Please donate on our website by clicking here and email Kathy (kathy.hlee@yahoo.com) of your gift. You will be provided a tax receipt for your gift. Thank you for your help.

We LOVE.

We love unconditionally because, honestly, many we serve are angry, rebellious, and distrusting because of the trauma, abuse and neglect they have suffered. They are victims, not just in the popular way of using the word, but because they were truly ‘innocents’ being exploited, physically and sexually abused, neglected, unloved and misguided.

Sadly, they ask why we would want to give or do things for them. They feel so unworthy and are confused when someone actually shows them real kindness. We often have the opportunity to tell them our Foundation has many friends who give us money and items to do good things for them, to which they respond, “Why would they want to do that for someone they do not know?” That is true unconditional love, giving to those you do not know and may never meet. But we know from experience unconditional love is a powerful healer. Thank you all for sharing your LOVE.

Please stay tuned for more information coming soon about our Fais Do-Do! You definitely will not want to miss the fun.

Finally, we want to thank you for supporting our youth and young adults. We can only serve them because of your generosity.

Much Love,

Donna Pierson, Founder
GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation
241 E Colorado Blvd, Suite 202
Pasadena, CA 91101
(951) 500-9553
GiveMentorLove.org

Save The Date: GML Fais Do-Do FUN-Draiser

Da food, it be Cajun,

Da hurricanes will flow,

Da Zydeco band be playing

Da music for our Fais Do-Do!

Save the date! On Saturday, October 2nd GIVE-MENTOR-LOVE Foundation is hosting a Fais Do-Do FUN-Draiser.

Please join us live and outdoors for a Cajun style dance party to support LA County youth rescued from the sex trade and other youth and young adults in-crisis, at-risk, and homeless.

Learn more about our upcoming event by clicking here. If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor, please email donnapierson@givementorlove.org or contact Donna Pierson at (951) 500-9553.

GML Drops Off First Donations to ZOE Los Angeles’ Home for Girls “Store”

Temica Wofford, Administrator of ZOE Los Angeles’ STRTP, receives our first drop off of donated items for the “Store” including:

  • Yoga Mats and Props
  • Dufflebags on Wheels
  • Silk and Terry Cloth Robes
  • Slippers
  • Water bottles
  • Journals

And much more to come!

This STRTP, which stands for short-term residential therapeutic program, is a home for girls rescued from the sex trade. The girls living here will be able to visit the “Store” and choose anything they please.

GML Easter Bunny Helpers Assemble Baskets for the Youth We Serve

The GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Easter Bunny Helpers were in the workshop leading up to Easter this year putting together baskets for foster girls and youth we serve who have been exploited and have suffered unspeakable traumas in their lives. For some of the youth, these are the first Easter baskets they have ever received. This year’s baskets were filled with sweet treats, festive items and wrapped with love, and were dropped off on Easter morning.

GIVE-MENTOR-LOVE and Learning Works Team Up for College Graduation Surprise

COVID-19 threw many college students quite a curve ball. Not only did they have to adjust from attending in-person courses to remote learning during a global pandemic, but for soon-to-be graduates it led to their highly anticipated graduation ceremonies being cancelled.

For Bernie, a former graduate of and now Chaser® for, Learning Works Charter School, it was no different. Expressing how disappointed she was after working so hard to attain her degree and not being able to walk across stage to receive her diploma, GIVE-MENTOR-LOVE and Learning works teamed up to surprise her with a special ceremony just for her.

On the morning of what was supposed to be her graduation day in March, Bernie and her family arrived at Learning Works in Pasadena knowing little of what the day had in store.

To their surprise, they were greeted by a celebration complete with a stage set up, TV screen display, refreshments and gifts to celebrate and congratulate her on her big accomplishment.

Bernie walked across the stage adorned in her graduation cap and gown, had her photo and degree displayed on screen for all to see and received her diploma with friends and family cheering and applauding – the college graduation experience she always dreamed of.

When asked about what this accomplishment meant to her, Bernie shared with us:

“Since I finished my last class my coworker has asked multiple times, ‘So, when are we hanging that diploma on the wall?’ It still hasn’t hit me and I’m not really sure what I am supposed to feel, but I am glad I have no more homework.

As a child I pretended to be a teacher and sit with my sisters and read to them, or tape a paper to the wall and write out math problems. I enjoyed school, loved reading, but that didn’t last long. I had a rough upbringing and I became so angry. By the time I was 15, I had already been jumped in a gang. I was using drugs and little did I know I would become a mom by the time I turned 16. If someone had told 15 year old me that I would have a Bachelors degree I would have laughed, me, a college grad? High school wasn’t a priority, why would I be thinking of college? But I did finish.

I wish someone believed in me back then like many believed in me finishing this degree. I partly wish I hadn’t gone through the things I did growing up but that would mean many things I cherish now wouldn’t be a part of my life.  If I could talk to 15 year old Bernie and tell her something, it would be that I love her and from rock bottom there is only one way to go and that is back up.

This celebration was far beyond anything the normal one would have been. This one made me feel so special and loved. I am so grateful to everyone for this experience.”

The celebration was documented by GIVE-MENTOR-LOVE’s photographer Diana Ramirez, who captured photos of Bernie and her family, plus took graduation photos so she can always remember her achievement and special day.

Bernie graduated from the University of Phoenix Class of 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration/Human Services.

Photography by Diana Ramirez

A special thank you to Mike Brown Grandstands for providing the stage set-up for this special ceremony.

GML In The Press: Partnership for At-Risk Youth Seen as Symbiotic

Our partnership with Learning Works has recently been featured in the press!

Read the article “Partnership for At-Risk Youth Seen as Symbiotic” written by Camila Castellanos in the Pasadena Outlook Newspaper by clicking here.

Announcing Our Partnership with ZOE Los Angeles

GIVE– MENTOR – LOVE is a foundation of 30 volunteers (and growing) serving LA County youths and young adults in-crisis, at risk, homeless or in foster care, and victims of Human Trafficking. Our Foundation partners with Victor Treatment Center, Learning Works, and LA County Bureau of Specialized Response Services for Commercial Sexual Exploited Children.

We are pleased and excited to announce the beginning of our Partnership with ZOE Los Angeles.

Founded in 2002, ZOE is an international non-profit organization that rescues children from human trafficking. ZOE is contracted with Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services to provide 24/7 crisis response when law enforcement recovers youth from sex trafficking in the North Los Angeles County Area.

ZOE also provides on-site advocacy services to youth recovered from human trafficking rescue operations; helps rescued children return home or to an emergency shelter; and provides resources, referral services, trauma informed activities and education to survivors of human trafficking and their parents.

In addition, ZOE has built a short-term residential therapeutic program (STRTP) for female youth who have been rescued giving them holistic care to meet their needs, with an anticipated opening for May 2021.

Our partnership with ZOE Los Angeles will support the at-risk youth they rescue from human trafficking with clothing, gifts and other special need items to support their healing process.

GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Receives Certificate of Recognition from Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services

Teens Sharing Love for Valentine’s Day

Two teens are sharing the love this Valentine’s Day through their creativity and mentorship, bringing smiles and joy to the youth and young adults we serve.

Edward Huang, a high school Junior from Solon, OH, has crafted 40 beautiful hand-made Valentine’s Day cards and origami, and placed them in candy bags to be given out to the youth.

Ryan Lin, a high school Junior from Arcadia, CA, has created a special post on his website asking for handmade cards to share the love and joy with these youth. In addition, Ryan and his fellow students are offering our partner, Learning Works, online tutoring services for students of all grades, free of charge.

If you’d like to join in on sharing the love this Valentine’s Day, please mail cards to:

Give-Mentor-Love Foundation
241 E Colorado Bvd, Ste 202
Pasadena, CA 91101

GIVE-MENTOR-LOVE Holiday Update 2020

The holidays looked different for many this year, us as a foundation included. While we weren’t able to conduct the “holidays as usual” (tree trimming, cookie decorating, a festive Christmas party with Santa and games) with the youth we serve, we were able to pivot and still make Christmas and New Year’s a very special time for these foster girls.

For the entire month of December, we dropped off Christmas crafts, holiday DVDs, Christmas trees and decorations.

For each of the 5 Christmas Eve parties, we delivered a dinner buffet and treats, a lot of which were favorites requested by the girls themselves. The foster girls played Christmas themed games we delivered, with each girl winning a prize valued at $20 or more.

Each girl was also gifted a Christmas stocking that had hair and beauty items, stress toys, perfumes/colognes, other fun items and treats, along with a $100 gift card to Target.

On Christmas morning, the youth woke up to the sight of yummy treats and goodies to be enjoyed throughout the day, and a beautiful handmade paper scrapbook with all the items needed to design a keepsake treasure.

Between the Christmas stockings, gift cards and scrapbook kit they were gifted, these were the only presents many of the girls received.

For New Years Eve, we provided a Party Pack with 2021 hats, noise makers, beads, boas and other party favors, along with snacks and sparkling apple cider for toasting!

This holiday season, in addition to serving foster girls, we were also able to serve our other partners – Learning Works and Los Angeles County of Commercial Sexual Exploited Children (CSEC).

For the students of Learning Works, we presented 20 Christmas stockings stuffed with goodies, along with a $50 Visa Gift.

Raul Zarate, the Middle School Instructor and Chaser at Learning Works, wrote to us saying, “Thank you for making it happen. I really enjoyed making the drops and seeing a smile on all of our student’s faces during these crazy times. We have a great team of individuals with big hearts that just want to give back and I absolutely love it.”

For the youth and young adults rescued by CSEC, we gave approximately $2,750 worth of clothing, bedding and gift cards this holiday season.

Mayra Gallo, Bureau of Specialized Response Services for CSEC, wrote to us saying “The girls were super excited when I presented them with their $100 gift card. They all made comments such as ‘I’m going to buy myself the hair product I’ve been wanting’ or ‘I’m going to buy a shirt’ and ‘ooh I’m going to buy underwear.’ Their eyes glowed as they were expressing what they were going to buy. Thank you all for your support.”

So yes, the holidays looked different this year than they did in years past… but as a Foundation we were still able to make a huge impact in the lives of those we serve.

Thank you to all of our sponsors and supporters who’ve donated and continue to support us. We couldn’t do our work without you.

GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation Recognizes Kathy Lee for Role as Director of Community Services

Leader Recognized for Key Contributions of Empathy and Guidance

GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation has recently announced the expansion of its community service role in the Pasadena Foothills area headed by Kathy Lee, naming her Director of Community Services. GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE is a non-profit organization serving Los Angeles County youths and young adults in crisis, who are at risk, homeless or in foster care, and victims of human trafficking. Lee is supervising a significant, immediate and continued support endeavor, tasked with being a power of example of guidance, unconditional love and leadership for the long term.

“As GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation’s Director of Community Services, I help recent high school graduates from Learning Works Charter School,” said Lee. “This Pasadena school is for students who have previously dropped out of the traditional school setting. We are helping them transition into the next phases of their lives. I help them enroll in vocational studies, find jobs and give them that extra nudge toward their passions and interests. I work alongside a small, highly dedicated group of professionals who encourage and guide students struggling to deal with life on a daily basis.”

Lee has numerous responsibilities. She assists in organizing financial aid and continuing education, as well as locating potential internships and apprentice opportunities for the youth and young adults the organization serves through its partnership with Learning Works. According to Dr. Mikala Rahn, Founder of Learning Works, “The GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation has been a true blessing to Learning Works, not only in terms of funding, but support staff and students directly. Kathy Lee has been amazing at supporting our graduates to transition to postsecondary education and employment.”

Most recently, Lee has placed two women in medical assistant roles, with tuition covered 100% by financial aid. Currently, she is assisting with placing a young man in a First Responder Program in pursuit of his ultimate goal of becoming an emergency medical technician and helping a young woman enroll in the Navy. Lee added, “The opportunities for these youth are endless. They just need a little help, and a lot of encouragement.”

Locating opportunities and possibilities for people who think that they don’t deserve or have the possibility of a productive and happy future is what drives Lee in her work. As Raul Zarate, Learning Works Middle School Program Coordinator, put it, “Kathy Lee is helping individuals who perhaps lack researching skills or motivation, those who would not have received help after getting their diploma.” He added, “She embodies the definition of what we call a ‘Chaser’ here at Learning Work. She tirelessly chases our graduates trying to figure out their individual needs as well as researching opportunities, and options currently available for them to take advantage of near the individual’s residency.”

GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation, as well as the Learning Works, recognize great value in having Lee as an advocate for the students. Donna Pierson, Founder of GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation, remarked, “There is a very warm and kind nature about Kathy that attracts the youths to her side.” Pierson added, “She has a special and natural talent in mentoring, encouraging and counseling. She can calm the most agitated youth with soothing conversation and get them to focus on the task at hand. Kathy is truly one of the most tenacious, yet gentle, individuals I have ever met, which is why I think her success rate with these graduates is outstanding.”

Currently, Lee is in the process of applying to become a Master of Social Welfare at UCLA and a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy at USC. With both degrees to her name, Lee plans on implementing her knowledge with the youth and professionals she works alongside with by offering resources to assist in education, childcare, mental health and practical skills in hopes to have positive outcomes in a magnitude that would be far more effective than addressing problems in adulthood.

Lee stated, “I am privileged to be a member of an organization that works humbly and believes deeply that we can make a real impression on the lives of the underserved youth in our community.” 

Photography by: Diana Ramirez

This article was featured in the Pasadena Outlook Newspaper on February 25, 2021.

 

 

Annual Dinner of Thanks

Each year for Thanksgiving we host the Dinner of Thanks for youth we serve. The Dinner of Thanks is a sit down, family style Thanksgiving dinner with tables dressed in linens, fine china, a full turkey, sparkling apple cider (the girls favorite!!) and all of the trimmings. For most of the girls, this is the first real family-style Thanksgiving Dinner they have ever experienced. The Ladies of GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE act as the wait staff, and we use this as an opportunity to teach dining skills and proper etiquette.

 

 

We’ve Opened Up Shop! Take a Tour of Our Free Shops

We have recently opened up a shop where we allow youths and young adults in-crisis, at risk, homeless or in foster care, and victims of Human Trafficking to come in and pick-up items they may need.

These items range from clothing for ladies, gentlemen, teen, children and babies; Household goods like pots, pans, dishes, glassware, small appliances, linens, and bedding; Various baby items such as strollers, highchairs, car seats; Books; Toys; Electronics; Luggage and more.

These items have been donated to us, and we allow these girls to come in and pick-up things they may need free of charge.

If you are interested in donating items or have any questions, please contact us.

Household Items

Baby Clothing, Items & Toys

Women’s & Girl’s Clothing, Shoes & More

Men’s & Boy’s Clothing, Shoes & More

Luggage & Travel

 

Trick or Treat… Gearing Up for Halloween Fun!

Each year for Halloween we host a Pizza Party for the youth we serve with festive music, crafts, face painting, costumes and games, and give each girl a goodie bag full of treats!

This year, due to the Pandemic, we dropped off crafts, snacks and goodie bags and ordered pizzas so they could still celebrate. Our Foundation shopper Sharon found all the right items for our girls to in the spirit and have some spooky fun this year!

 

GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Update: Summer 2020

Dear Supporters,

We are so thankful and very fortunate to have held our Super Heroes Fundraiser in February before the shutdown. The youths we serve were in desperate situations before this pandemic and happily we have been able to help them with the monies we raised – thanks to super generous SUPERHEROES.

Since then, one of our Partners, LA County Specialized Response for Commercial Sexual Exploited Children (CSEC), has had many requests because the children they serve have been among the hardest hit. We have bought single beds and mattresses, paid for Lyft rides to get victims to medical appointments, and paid for short-term housing for some until the Social Worker can find permanent and appropriate housing. One 14 year old girl was rescued 9 months pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. We were able to buy her a baby stroller and another $400 worth of essential baby items. Happily, she is a wonderful and loving mother and working hard to put her life back together to insure her baby has a wonderful life ahead.

GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation has bought 100 Chromebooks for the students of Learning Works Charter School, another of our Partners. Learning Works is all about graduating youths who have dropped out of mainstream education. Their students are homeless teens (yes – homeless teens still want to get a diploma to get off the street), teen mothers, Foster kids, and other in-crisis youths. Learning Works has kept their doors open during this pandemic because they don’t just provide education. They feed these youths breakfast and lunch, give them a place to shower and wash their clothes, has a food bank, and has therapists on duty to help them maneuver through the everyday and pandemic emotional ups and downs. The Chromebooks are commonly the first electronic device these children have ever owned and they help these students continue their studies while teachers are sequestered.

Yes. We have been busy, very busy. And, as I said at the start of this letter, we are so very thankful to each and every one who has helped us to serve these youths in need. Without your generous support none of this is possible.

We hope you are all safe, well and on the path to returning to a new and better normal. As you do, please know your support has truly improved the lives of so many in this short time since our February fundraiser.

With sincere gratitude,

Donna Pierson
Founder & Board Chairperson
GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation

GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Donates 100 Chromebooks to Learning Works Students for Remote Learning

Look at these smiling faces! These are just a few of the smiling faces out of the 100 kids who received Chromebooks from GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation to the students of Learning Works.

These students had no electronic device to continue their studies during this sequestering time. These students had already dropped out of the mainstream educational system and Learning Works is their last chance to achieve a high school diploma. Now they can get back to work!

Easter Morning Surprise for the Youth We Serve

The youth we serve woke up to an Easter surprise this year! The Easter Bunny Mobile was all packed up and ready to hop delivering each girl an Easter basket, which for some, is the first basket they have ever received for Easter. Packed with sweet treats, festive items and handmade cards to each girl by a local Girls Scout Troop, the girls loved them!

Meet Our Foundation Partner: Los Angeles County of Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC)

The Los Angeles County of Commercial Sexual Exploited Children (CSEC) unit connects victims with support services, specialized advocates, and can help provide temporary housing if needed. The unit works in collaboration with law enforcement and other CSEC survivor organizations to support those who have been identified as being trafficked or are at risk of being trafficked.

The needs of our exploited youth are multiple and complex, and require intensive support and trauma informed care and interventions, as well as consistent, caring adults in their lives with whom they are able to trust and connect with throughout their journey towards healing and recovery and beyond. The vast majority of these youth have experienced abuse and neglect early on and have come from families that have struggled with violence, various forms of trauma, poverty, mental health challenges, and intergenerational abuse and/or neglect. Serving this population of youths requires a great amount of collaboration and partnerships among county partners, community based organizations, Survivor Advocates, law enforcement, faith based community, foster parents, human trafficking task forces, schools, parents, and the youth themselves. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has been at the forefront of the cause and continues to provide strong leadership and oversight of all CSEC initiatives being implemented in L.A. County.

GIVE-MENTOR-LOVE Foundation work in partnership with LA County CSEC in meeting the following needs of society’s most vulnerable children and youth – those that have been victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation, a severe form of child abuse.

  • Providing immediate basic needs such as clothing, food, beds, cribs and financial assistance to establish safe housing for rescued victims.
  • Funding assistance for educational and vocational training, clothing for employment, special needs, tutoring, childcare and transportation allowances.
  • Assisting with increasing awareness of the need for people to become resource parents and mentors for our youth impacted by exploitation
  • Developing transitional housing in a supportive environment that will empower youth to increase self-sufficiency and workforce readiness.
  • Working together, we envision that more of these youths will be able to heal, recover and thrive!

Watch the video below to hear from CSEC Program Administrator Adela Estrada

Meet Our Foundation Partner: Learning Works

Learning Works is a charter school for traditionally underserved, high-risk students in grades 6-12 who have withdrawn or are in danger of withdrawing from mainstream education. Learning Works excels at helping those students who were never going to get their high school diploma attain it, and serves over 350 students in Pasadena and in Boyle Heights. Seventy-one percent of their students are Hispanic, 22% African American, 4% White and 3% Other. There students are 19% English Learners, 13% Special Education, and 99% eligible for National School Lunch Program. The youth served by Learning Works are called “at-risk” but they are in fact “in-crisis” or have already demonstrated a behavior or condition that exceeds at-risk, such as becoming pregnant, dropping out of school, homeless or entering the juvenile delinquency or foster care system. Learning Works also partners with Homeboy Industries in Boyle Heights.Learning Works is truly the only hope these students have for an education like the education other students in public comprehensive or private schools receive.

GIVE-MENTOR-LOVE Foundation works in partnership with Learning Works in meeting the following needs of these students who have been discarded.

  • Enrichment activities through fieldtrips as wells as arts and gardening programs.
  • New middle school and counseling facility and expanded programming including recreation facilities such as a basketball court.
  • Expansion of homeless services including Hope Works program offering homeless youth a shower, laundry facilities, and food in the evening and new plans for a 30-day homeless facility for youth and young adults.
  • Students needs such as food, diapers for babies, school supplies, transportation and more.
  • Mentoring and financial support for Learning Works graduates so they continue on to higher education or trade school and secure employment.
  • Help create a youth focused social enterprise, Homeboy Youth Café.

Together we assure these youths opportunities that help them become happy, successful and independent adults.

Watch the video below to hear from Founder of Learning Works Charter School, Dr. Mikala Rahn

Facing Grave Illness, Aspiring Chef Fulfills Dream to Serve Teens

Read the article “Facing Grave Illness, Aspiring Chef Fulfills Dream to Serve Teens” written by Camila Castellanos in the Pasadena Outlook Newspaper by clicking here.

GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE is a Foundation of dedicated professionals serving LA County youths and young adults in-crisis, at risk, homeless or in foster care, and victims of Human Trafficking.

© GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation  |  501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization – Tax ID 84-3395706  |  All rights reserved.

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