A Generous Spirit
Just one week away is Thanksgiving, the start of the holiday season (despite Christmas music already playing on some radio stations!). While many are eager to leap frog over the Thanksgiving holiday, I raise a hand and say, “Wait! Slow down! Christmas will be here before you know it! Let’s take a minute to give thanks for all that we have.”
Because we do have a lot with many of us benefitting from the spirit of generosity that can be found across our entire community. This spirit was evident all around the Crescenta Valley on Saturday. From the Council of the Blind Mutt Strut at CV Park to the annual holiday boutiques for Prom Plus and Gethsemane Church to the La Crescenta Woman’s Club antiques and collectibles event, volunteers and donors made sure that these events took place by helping these nonprofit organizations. I was at the Prom Plus holiday boutique, one of Prom Plus’ largest fundraisers, and was delighted to see hundreds of shoppers stop by St. Luke’s of the Mountains (which donated the use of the property for the day). The money raised will go toward the main event in May when more than 450 students are expected at the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA (which donates its property) for Prom Plus. I was also excited to learn at the boutique that local bakery La Fleur (on Honolulu Avenue) will be donating a portion of its proceeds from Thanksgiving pie sales to Prom Plus! (I’ve already ordered mine.) Why? Because they want to lend a hand.
And they’re not unusual. Shannon Pondella, who owns Surface Fitness in Sparr Heights, collects shoes from her customers every November then donates them to Souls for Soles. This year, the folks at Surface Fitness are stretching their “giving muscles” further by adopting Hillsides School and Learning Center in Pasadena and raising money to purchase physical activity equipment for the school’s physical education program. Their main fundraiser is an open house tonight, Thursday Nov. 19 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. They are asking folks to stop by Surface Fitness Inc. (3470 Ocean View Blvd.) and take part in a raffle or perhaps just make a donation. All proceeds will go towards the purchase of physical activity equipment.
Mary O’Keefe, who runs the Fire House Youth Center, received a much-needed check from the local Kiwanis on behalf of the Fire House to purchase food for the 70-plus kids she and fellow volunteers Tracy Fisher and Julie Dowse feed every week. Many people are surprised to learn that the Fire House is self-sustaining; it survives on donations. The money given will take care of a few weeks of meals for these kids.
These are just a few examples of the many people and organizations that step up when the call for “Help!” is made. I look forward in the upcoming months to share more.