Charitable giving is an important element of life. I remember as a kid my parents delivering food, clothes and even mattresses to people. I didn’t think much of it at the time because it was more of a normal thing to do on occasions. I grew up in Oklahoma City and tornadoes were not uncommon and when they hit, it was devastating. If your home was in the path of the tornado, chances were not good for your safety and possessions. When this happened, we would work with our church to provide comfort and to help replace what we could. I guess that sense of giving has always stayed with me.
I have always found a certain amount of comfort working in soup kitchens, packing groceries for food pantries or packing meals. During Thanksgivings here in the desert, I have delivered turkey dinners to shut-ins who otherwise would not have a nice hot home-made meal. I don’t say any of this to boast but rather to show that we can all do a small or big part in giving back to our community. However you define community, I encourage everyone to help however they can
Some of the charities that I currently work with are:
The Bianca Rae Foundation. The Bianca Rae Foundation strives to give a voice to the voiceless. The foundation is divided into two verticals: a concentration on providing guidance and leadership to Southern California youth and a focus on providing resources for homeless animals. I work directly with Bianca Rae in the Fundraising and I am a committee member for the Rae of Hope Retreat for middle school kids.
Bianca Rae Foundation has impacted over 2,500 middle-school children from all over the Coachella Valley, where they attend breakout groups to learn about building their self-esteem, social-media safety, anti-bullying, leadership, and crucial life skills to become their best selves. Our Rae of Hope retreat is a one day event where children get to learn about ways to get involved in their community, a foreign concept to many of them. Children learn tips and tricks to boost their self-esteem and feel better about themselves. They hear from inspirational public figures who have been bullied themselves about how they overcame those challenges. Kids get to learn about team building and working together through fun activities. One of the highlights at our retreats is having influential, high-profile members of the community share life changing advice with the kids. The power of influence is alive and well with today’s youth.
Jewish Family Services of Coachella Valley (JFS). For over 35 years, Jewish Family Service of the Desert (JFS) has provided vital social services to the people of the Coachella Valley regardless of religious affiliation. They offer many programs that can improve the quality of your life including counseling and senior services. JFS services are made possible by generous funding provided by our community partners, generous donors and supporters as well as the Jewish Federation of the Desert. JFS is also the beneficiary of the United Way of the Desert and is a member agency of the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies. I support their many causes and give at a Patron level.
Country Clubs. I’m fortunate to be able to work with wonderful women’s associations at some of the most prestigious country clubs here in the desert. One of the missions of the women’s associations are the Education Foundations, to raise funds for the employees’ children to attend college. They also raise funds for books, computers, school supplies etc. Without this invaluable support the opportunity for these children to attain college degrees would be much more challenging. They also give wonderful gifts around the Christmas holiday to every child whose parent works at the country club.
Eisenhower Health, a not-for-profit organization, exists to serve the changing healthcare needs of our region by providing excellence in patient care with supportive education and research. Eisenhower has been a leader in health care for the Coachella Valley since it opened its medical center in 1971. Since then, they have been growing steadily, adding services, capabilities and facilities to anticipate and meet the needs of the expanding area. Today, the Eisenhower name extends far beyond the state-of-the-art care it delivers at the hospital.
With primary care, urgent care centers, multi-specialty health centers, and specialized programs across the valley, it now offers comprehensive health care support, from education and prevention to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. They provide customized care in Men‘s Health, Women’s Health, LGBTQ services, HIV care, and much more. And they’ve added physicians, online access, and community events to enhance convenience and access for all. They are pleased to be a trusted name renowned for advanced care, individualized service, and an exceptional patient experience.
It’s all part of their ongoing effort to be a care partner for our communities, in sickness and in health. Their name reflects this focus, along with their commitment to serving our community well, today, and in the years to come.
They have honored my husband, Efrén Sánchez’s mother, Elsa Sánchez with a plaque in the Lucy Curci Cancer Center. Our gift will go towards education for individuals and families going through the diagnosis and treatment of Cancer. Elsa was an educator all her life, owning a private school in Puerto Rico, and we wanted for her legacy to live on here in the Coachella Valley.
Circle Of Stars. Not just happy to donate, I recently joined the organization “Circle of Stars”. Dolores Hope and a small group of like-minded women banded together over 50 years ago to raise funds to build Eisenhower Medical Center. Circle of Stars is a women’s organization honoring that rich tradition of empowering its members to embrace philanthropy and help shape the future of Eisenhower. Every year the members are challenged with a monetary goal to raise funds that will go to one major important purchase to positively impact our community’s health. I look forward to actively participating in helping the Circle Of Stars achieve their mission.
Circle Of Stars | Deborah DeSantis