2014 GALA GRANTEES ANNOUNCED

SARI!

We are grateful for the generosity of our donors. At this year’s 9th Annual Gala, LCF held its first-ever live auction to support the work of Latino-based nonprofit organizations across the State. Six of our partner organizations provided examples of how they would use the donations. The live Gala auction was a wild success – a total of 85 individuals made donations ranging from $100 to $5,000.

Because of your generosity, we are thrilled to announce that this week, all 6 of our participating Latino based organizations have received a $5,000 Fund-a-Need Gala grant to support their work. Help us congratulate: Somos MayfairHOMEY,  North Bay Organizing Project (NBOP), The Latina Center, Mission Graduates, and Fathers and Families of San Joaquin.

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SOMOS MAYFAIR

Somos Mayfair cultivates the dreams and the power of the Latino community by leveraging and using existing assets (people, culture, relationships, and dreams) to create lasting solutions for change. Gala funds will support a “participatory budgeting” program for parents. Camillle Llanes-Fontanilla, Executive Director, said that “There is no better way to put power in the hands of our parents than by empowering them to be in control of their local school’s finances. This is leadership development in action.”

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HOMEY

H.O.M.E.Y stands for Homies Organizing the Mission to Empower Youth. Local youth inspire HOMEY to find community driven solutions to issues of violence in San Francisco. Many of the staff at HOMEY have faced similar challenges as the youth. Working together, they are creating a new narrative for the Latino community, one rooted in high expectations and community leadership. HOMEY will use this Gala grant to support their screen printing social enterprise – Native Graphics.

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NORTH BAY ORGANIZING PROJECT

North Bay Organizing Project (NBOP) is a grassroots organization that engages and unites the Somona community to build leadership and community power.This grant will help launch the Latino Student Congress, an initiative that is developing young Latino leaders in Sonoma County High Schools by addressing issues related to the juvenile justice system and college preparedness. David Cardenas, Lead Organizer of NBOP shared that, “We will use the Gala funds to give agency to our Latino youth.”

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THE LATINA CENTER

The Latina Center engages and develops emerging Latina leaders in Richmond, California. The Latina Center makes women feel safe, supported and empowered through culturally rooted support groups, parenting courses, ESL classes, and leadership development programs. This Gala grant will support the development of a new organizational website that will also have a social enterprise component – helping low-income, Latina women promote and sell their artisan crafts online.
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MISSION GRADUATES

Mission Graduates is dedicated to creating a college going culture in San Francisco’s Mission District by increasing the number of K-12 students who are prepared for and complete a college education. For 40 years, Mission Graduates has been an important institution in the Mission. Edward Kaufman, Executive Director, said that “to receive funding that supports our work, and provides us the ability to determine where our great need is, is truly a gift! Mission Graduates will invest in parent leadership.”
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FATHERS AND FAMILIES OF SAN JOAQUIN

Fathers and Families of San Joaquin (FFSJ) is engaging and empowering the Stockton community to lead a movement for change. “FFSJ works with what we see as the most powerful tool to bring about change – our people. What makes us so successful is the fact that we don’t “serve” people, we engage the community and create a positive and empowered extended family.” said Alejandra Gutierrez, FFSJ Youth Organizing Coordinator. Sammy Nunez, Executive Director, said that the Gala grant would go a very long way to “support healing through cultural art projects with local youth and to provide nutritious meal for the many Elders who walk through our doors.”

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To learn more about all LCF Grantees, please click HERE. 
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Change happens…One Day at a Time

ODAT PHOTO

I was a sophomore in high school when I met Johnny Rodriguez. He wasn’t a teacher, a cop, or a counselor. He was a guy that looked like the people in my neighborhood. We spoke the same language, but he had something different to say. He also cared about what I had to say. For some reason, he believed I was much more than what I believed. There’s something special that happens inside of you when you meet someone who believes in you more than you believe in yourself. Change happens.

What was different about Johnny is that he believed in all of us, no matter what we looked like, what we had done, or what we had been through. As a young Latino from a rough neighborhood, I felt good about not being judged. I felt confident. I felt empowered!

Johnny stood by me and my friends through thick and thin, and he did the same for many others. He dedicated himself to helping us all believe in ourselves.  ODAT is the manifestation of what Johnny did for us back then and what we all strive to do today.

One Day at a Time (ODAT) means different things to different people. But the essence is the same. We create familia. Some have said,

  • “ODAT is a place where you can share who you are, what you are, and not be judged.”
  • “ODAT creates a sense of belonging. A family where all differences are accepted and admired.”
  • “ODAT saved my life.”

If you asked me, I’d say ODAT creates a family culture and a belief that your son, daughter, grandchild, or nephew can reach their greatest potential if they have the support and opportunities they deserve.

Today, I am grateful to come back to serve in Brentwood as the Development & Business Manager for ODAT, an organization that was created by my mentor. Johnny, who is still my mentor and our Executive Director, taught me that, “You can’t change people. You can only give them opportunities to see life in a different way. Change won’t come overnight; it happens One Day At a Time.”

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One Day At a Time or ODAT was founded in 1997 and is a Latino-based organization dedicated to providing positive educational and personal growth opportunities to young adults in East Contra Costa County and San Joaquin County. ODAT youth build better relationships with other peers, improve relationships at home and also perform better academically. We achieve this by providing a supportive network of peers and adults, promoting positive lifestyles, enhancing educational learning experiences, and developing decision-making skills that empower young leaders to realize their full potential.

Follow ODAT on FACEBOOK

By Ramiro Ibarra, Development and Business Manager at ODAT

Romero Ibarra