West Valley Child Crisis Center (WVCCC) rose from the need for shelter housing. A group of women's service organizations and the John F. Long Foundation formed opened residential homes in 1986 and 1988 for children who were victims of domestic violence or neglect. Today WVCCC helps to find foster care and adoptive homes for children who were removed from their homes by Child Protective Services. In addition, the organization's birth-parent program teaches pregnant women about their options and ability to place their children with loving families, and the community-outreach program raises awareness about child-welfare issues.
Self-confidence comes from within, but that doesn’t mean that it can't get some help from outside. At Vitality Aesthetics Institute, medical director Dr. Charles Ben Evans and Sarah Vogt, MSN—a certified medical injector, laser technician, and aesthetician—use cutting-edge medspa technology to give clients that extra boost in confidence by delivering dramatic cosmetic changes. CoolSculpting procedures help eliminate hard-to-lose fat deposits without resorting to invasive surgery. The center's Cutera cosmetic laser systems revitalize skin tone and texture by zapping unwanted stubble or by minimizing any signs of age spots and large pores. For a youth-infused visage, Botox and Juvederm injections smooth out the wrinkles and frown lines that appear on aging skin.
Founded by the parents of Kaitlyn Marie Sudberry, a teenager who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, Kaity's Way programming teaches teens and their families to identify the warning signs of violent teen relationships. The organization also emphasizes the key elements of healthy relationships by promoting the tenets of P.E.A.C.E—patience, empathy, acceptance, caring, and equality. The organization needs additional funding to help cover the costs of its outreach class, which requires handouts and brochures ($25), travel time ($35), and presenter's fees ($180) for each session.
While serving dinner to those in need as a volunteer at his local soup kitchen in 1967, John Van Hengel met the woman who would spark the idea for the nation's first food bank. She fed her 10 children using soup kitchens and the cast-offs she found in grocery-store dumpsters, according to the Washington Post, but she suggested that a place where people could "deposit" and "withdraw" food—like a bank—would be ideal. With help from St. Mary's Basilica, Van Hengel created St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, which accepted donations from individuals and companies with surplus food. A centralized food bank was able to serve a larger number of people by distributing donated food to member food pantries, soup kitchens, and other charities, and the concept spread across the country and the world.
Today, St. Mary’s annually distributes nearly 70 million pounds of food to its partner agencies across an 81,000-square-mile service area. These meals go to people of all ages, ranging from homebound seniors to children in more than 80 after-school programs. In addition to its food network, St. Mary’s also prepares emergency food boxes to keep families fed during a temporary crisis and, through its Community Kitchen program, trains people to succeed at jobs in the culinary industry while providing meals to hungry individuals.
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A plug-and-play wine-tasting service, Raising Glasses LLC helps local nonprofit organizations, sports teams, and individuals navigate the choppy waters of today's economy with professional wine-tasting fundraisers. The Raising Glasses staff handles all aspects of each event, including securing a venue, providing the wines, and developing a marketing campaign to get the word out. In addition to its fundraisers, the company draws from a deep barrel of knowledge to pour wine education into open ears at in-home tastings and informative series. Customers can also use Raising Glasses for party-planning assistance, during which an expert will help chefs pair wines with meal courses and explain regional differences in tastes so hosts know what language to speak when asking a bottle to attend the party.
The Innocence Gala is a charitable ball of fun fine cuisine and special events to benefit the Rainbow House organization. The black-tie event, hosted by Michele Spry, fetes eyes and ears with live entertainment and feeds brains thanks to special guest speaker, screenwriter, director, and author Antwone Fisher. Attendees can sway to the sounds of jazz soloist Lisa Smith and pianist Tom Andes, then dine on catered hors d'oeuvres, plated dishes, and desserts, served with beverages and spirits to drench parched throats and facilitate ethical debates about farming clouds for their rainwater. All ticketed participants receive a copy of Antwone Fisher's new book, A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie: And Other Lessons for Succeeding in Life, which Fisher will autograph during his gala book signing.