Friends In Deed’s Bad Weather Shelter Pivots for a Second Year

First published in the Dec. 2 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.

Friends In Deed has shifted from its Bad Weather Shelter for a second year in a row due to COVID-19 and ongoing social distancing protocols.
Instead, the local charity will be holding regular and weather-activated supply distribution nights along with a limited number of motel rooms for those experiencing homelessness in the Pasadena area. This program will start in early January 2022 and run through late March.
Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater, executive director of Friends In Deed, said the organization is pleased to continue offering creative solutions during the pandemic for those experiencing homelessness.
Continue reading “Friends In Deed’s Bad Weather Shelter Pivots for a Second Year”

ALF Helping Behind the Scene During Pandemic Closures

Photos courtesy ALF
Leslie Dick, Charlotte Raulli, Cari James, Keaton Comstock, Seema Kayali, ASB adviser Sarah Beattie and LCHS Principal Jim Cartnal are participating in a partnership between local schools and the Assistance League of Flintridge.

Assistance League of Flintridge members are carrying on with the following activities:
• ALF Operation School Bell has been busy. The OSB committee purchased backpacks, face masks, hand sanitizer, hygiene kits and school supplies and delivered them to 400 students through Friends In Deed, an organization that provides supportive services for homeless and at-risk neighbors. Through collaboration, ALF provided school clothing and supplies to another 600 students. OSB donated 50 new Chromebooks for the La Cañada Unified School District to use as loaners.
• ALFies in Action purchased 200 pairs of Blue Screen Blocker Glasses for local students. La Cañada High School student government members and advisers distributed the glasses in their parking lot on Nov. 17, observing strict protective protocols via a drive-up/drive-thru system. There were warm, happy faces discernible, even though masked.
• ALF instrumental music is underway. The program has been revamped and is totally online, offering new and unique opportunities for young musicians. Specific details and links are on the ALF website.
• ALF drama is coming. There is a tentative start date of Jan. 19 for fun online workshops with director Tristan Waldron. Keep checking the ALF website.
• The ALF Assisteens are active, too, working together Zooming and distributing assembled donations to help children, adults and families in need. The teens are corresponding with our local senior population, too.
As time continues to pass, ALF members also miss Bargain Box shoppers, and the conversations — about life, knick knacks, clothing and jewelry — shared together in the store. The Bargain Box is expected to reopen in early 2021. Many changes are being made at the Bargain Box to protect customers and friends. Safety for all is paramount.
ALF is also look forward to accepting clean, gently used donations. The ALF website,, will provide information regarding when the Bargain Box is able to accept donations again.
Monetary donations are also appreciated while the shop is closed. Checks made out to Assistance League of Flintridge may be mailed to ALF at 4607 Oakwood Ave., La Cañada Flintridge 91011. These donations will help the ALF members carry on with their good work.

Friends In Deed ‘Jazz on the Screen’ Fundraiser

Photo by Erin Rodick / OUTLOOK
Friends In Deed board President Richard Cheung, Pat Wickhem and Executive Director Rabbi Josh Levine Grater are pictured at the organization’s fundraiser last year. The “Jazz on the Screen” virtual benefit this year opens on Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Friends In Deed’s annual fundraiser, Jazz on the Green, is going virtual to “Jazz on the Screen.” The weeklong event begins on Tuesday, Aug. 25, and will include an online auction, playlist from local jazz artists, mystery wine pull and honoree spotlight videos. It will close with a live video event on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 7:30 p.m.
Continue reading “Friends In Deed ‘Jazz on the Screen’ Fundraiser”

Local Business Pair Donate $50k, Urge Others to Join Effort

As the grim reality of an unraveling economy begins to grip Pasadena, with nearly 20 million Americans filing for unemployment aid since coronavirus precautions have shut down businesses, many local nonprofit organizations have been scrambling to put emergency services into place and ramp up operations to meet the rise in needs, from food insecurity to homelessness to social services.
Continue reading “Local Business Pair Donate $50k, Urge Others to Join Effort”

Idealab Hatches Plan to Feed Families in Need, Bolster Restaurants

The Idealab team, including Managing Directors Tom McGovern and Alex Maleki, has launched a donation drive to feed families in need by ordering through local restaurants.

When Idealab Managing Directors Alex Maleki and Tom McGovern recently heard that Friends In Deed was going to close its food pantry for up to two weeks, putting the local families who depend on its kitchen staples at risk of hunger, they put their heads together.
As if the coronavirus pandemic and its wake of economic ruin wasn’t already bad enough for those left unemployed — many from the restaurant or services sector — but now a local food pantry providing basic dietary needs had to close after an employee exhibited signs of falling ill with COVID-19.
In a serendipitous moment, the Idealab partners lamented about the fate of their favorite Old Town Pasadena eateries, also standing idle due to the “Safer at Home” order that bans public gatherings. What if they helped out one of their longtime favorites, the Kitchen Italian Café and Pizzeria, by ordering a bunch of pizzas and delivering them to the hungry clientele families at Friends In Deed? Wait, what if everybody who could, did the same? Continue reading “Idealab Hatches Plan to Feed Families in Need, Bolster Restaurants”

Bogaards’ Lifetime Legacy: 50 Years of Embracing Causes

Bill and Claire Bogaard, tireless advocates for nonprofits across the city, will be honored at Friends In Deed’s annual fundraiser gala on Sept. 25.
Bill and Claire Bogaard, tireless advocates for nonprofits across the city, will be honored at Friends In Deed’s annual fundraiser gala on Sept. 25.

As Friends In Deed celebrates its 125th anniversary this month, the nonprofit will honor a true power couple who’ve helped instrument prolific change across the city and worked their hardest to ensure that change is positive for all area residents.
Bill and Claire Bogaard will be recognized with lifetime achievement awards at the event, an honor that the 50-year Pasadena residents say they feel privileged and humbled to accept. Apart from having served as the longest-running mayor, with four terms totaling 16 years, Bill Bogaard has served on multiple nonprofit boards, as has Claire, who also served on the city’s Planning Commission.
“It is wonderful and gracious of them to think of us and we appreciate it very, very much,” Bill Bogaard said, recognizing the nonprofit without missing a beat. Continue reading “Bogaards’ Lifetime Legacy: 50 Years of Embracing Causes”

Friends In Deed Hits the Streets to Fight Homelessness

Outlook photo Friends In Deed Director Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater and street outreach specialist Najwa Jones are taking a new approach to getting the homeless housed: Head to the streets to make connections.
Outlook photo
Friends In Deed Director Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater and street outreach specialist Najwa Jones are taking a new approach to getting the homeless housed: Head to the streets to make connections.
How to Donate,  Volunteer at  Friends In Deed  Friends In Deed is celebrating its 125th year as an interfaith organization helping to meet basic human needs for the homeless and at-risk neighbors. To help the nonprofit achieve success with its critical programs, including homeless outreach and prevention, food pantry, Pasadena Bad Weather Shelter and the Women’s Room, visit and go to the “Get Involved” tab. Volunteers are welcome and donations are vital to programming.
click on the picture for direct access to the link

By most accounts, Bonnie Morrison was on track to live a pretty normal middle-class life in Pasadena. By middle age, she was married and had raised a family, gone back to school, finished her degrees and worked briefly in her field before trying to further her education even more.
But a series of events interrupted that trajectory. She and her husband divorced, and Morrison, who had never paid bills before, suddenly struggled to make rent and keep up with details like insurance. She fought back depression. Then, her car collided with a Mack truck in a no-fault accident. She survived the crash but suffered an untreated head injury that heightened her depression and left her feeling isolated and incapacitated. Continue reading “Friends In Deed Hits the Streets to Fight Homelessness”