Habitat for Humanity to Build More Families’ Dreams

Photo courtesy SGVHH
Glendale residents Kevin Garcia and Magaly Duarte Garcia pose with their three sons at the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity home dedication ceremony last year. The family is celebrating one year of living in their own home.

It’s been nearly one year since San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity helped Magaly Duarte Garcia and her family move into their forever home in Glendale, but the mother of three boys can still hardly believe their good fortune.
“I wake up every day, just so grateful to be able to call it my home and knowing we have security for my family. It’s taken so much stress away,” Duarte Garcia said. “This pandemic has been very stressful, but owning our own home and having space for the boys to study and have their own rooms, it has been a blessing.”
Before Duarte Garcia and her husband, Kevin Garcia, were chosen as homeowners to partner with SGVHH, they and the boys shared a two-bedroom apartment with her mother and sister. The family was constantly trying to stay quiet and out of the landlord’s sight for fear of eviction for overcrowding; at night, the two parents would anxiously shush the busy boys to not jump or run or disturb the neighbors. One of her sons, who is autistic, had a hard time being confined in such a small space and would try to run away.

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Huge Gift Is a Building Block for Salvation Army

Rendering courtesy Salvation Army Pasadena Tabernacle
The Salvation Army Pasadena Tabernacle can now finalize plans for a 9,000-square-foot facility, to be named the Diane and John Mullin Hope Center, which will include 65 units of permanent supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness, expanded services and a larger food pantry.

Heading into Christmas, the Salvation Army Pasadena Tabernacle will be rejoicing for all to hear, and perhaps a little more exultantly this year.
That might seem odd during a pandemic year that has brought immense challenges and fear to the nonprofit and the hundreds of clients it serves, but the Tabernacle recently received a year-end gift that will help change the course of its history by providing housing for the homeless and more than double the number of people and families it can serve at its Walnut Street campus.

John and Diane Mullin

Local philanthropists John and Diane Mullin have gifted $5.65 million to the Salvation Army’s capital campaign, which now has garnered enough to officially kick off the construction of a 9,000-square-foot facility. It will be called the Diane and John Mullin Hope Center.
“When we embarked on this capital campaign it was a just a leap of faith, just trusting that somebody, somewhere in the community would give us a lead gift,” said the Pasadena Tabernacle’s Capt. Terry Masango. “For a long time, we were working from small pledges, and we really wondered how long it might take like that.
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Local Nonprofits, Donors Lauded for Courage in the Face of Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased food insecurity and the demand at food pantries, including several in Pasadena.

Long known for its remarkable number of locally based nonprofit organizations per capita, Pasadena — with a reputation for showing its big heart and sharing charitable assets — may soon also be recognized for something else: resilience.
Resilience among nonprofit-sector dynamos and the donors who support their causes, and in the optimism that, together, they can make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate, who’ve been especially battered by the cascading effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Nonprofit organizations are the pillars of Pasadena. Although it’s been a tremendously difficult year and will continue to be a complicated picture ahead, I remain optimistic that this community is very dedicated to its nonprofit sector,” said Pasadena Community Foundation President/CEO Jennifer DeVoll. “The great thing about people here is that they are very generous. They give because it’s in their DNA and deeply feel the Pasadena value of giving back.”
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In Big Election Turnout, Locals Largely Favored Biden

Well, it’s official: La Cañada Flintridge residents care, and they show it by voting.
The final outstanding ballots from this year’s November general election were certified by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office this week, and vote tallies indicate more LCF residents voted in this presidential election than any in recent history, with the majority supporting the Democratic candidate.
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As Hunger Rises, Foothill Unity’s Effort Does Too

If there’s anything Foothill Unity Center leaders have learned in the nonprofit organization’s 40 years of operation, it’s that need knows no season.
Though it ramped up distribution to deliver more than 4,000 festive food boxes for the Thanksgiving holiday — four times as many as it gave out in 2019 — the center dedicated to providing food services outreach throughout the San Gabriel Valley has seen a steady surge in need since the pandemic took hold in March.
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Cameras Help Net Local Arrests

Photo courtesy Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station
Deputies from the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station apprehended two suspected car thieves in La Cañada Flintridge this week, thanks in large part to alerts from the city’s recently installed Flock Safety cameras.

Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies arrested two suspects in the theft of a car and recovered the vehicle on Tuesday afternoon with the help of the city’s recently installed license plate-reading devices, known as Flock Safety Security cameras, which alert law enforcement to previously flagged vehicles.
At about 1:20 p.m., deputies were informed about a stolen white Nissan Sentra in the La Cañada Flintridge area, officials said, and Deputy Gregory Afsharian spotted the vehicle near Gould Avenue and Foothill Boulevard. He conducted a traffic stop as the car entered the Trader Joe’s shopping center.
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LCHS Graduate Recalls Recent Stint With Alex Trebek, ‘Jeopardy!’

Photo courtesy Christina Tang-Bernas
Former La Cañada High School graduate Christina Tang-Bernas recently debuted on “Jeopardy!” with longtime game show host Alex Trebek, who died on Sunday.

As “Jeopardy!” fans around the world mourned the loss of the show’s longtime host Alex Trebek this week, La Cañada High School alumna Christina Tang-Bernas felt a particularly strange pang.
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Habitat for Humanity to Build More Families’ Dreams

Photo courtesy Habitat for Humanity
San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Mark Van Lue takes a selfie with attendees at the Lomitas Avenue home dedication ceremony in Glendale, where the nonprofit built six town homes. Soon, SGVHH will launch its ambitious “Expanding the American Dream” initiative to serve 100 families over three years.

It’s been nearly one year since San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity helped Magaly Duarte Garcia and her family move into their forever home, but the mother of three boys can still hardly believe their good fortune.
“I wake up every day, just so grateful to be able to call it my home and knowing we have security for my family. It’s taken so much stress away,” Duarte Garcia said. “This pandemic has been very stressful, but owning our own home and having space for the boys to study and have their own rooms, it has been a blessing.”
Before Duarte Garcia and her husband were chosen as homeowners to partner with SGVHH, they and the boys shared a two-bedroom apartment with her mother and sister. The family was constantly trying to stay quiet and out of the landlord’s sight for fear of eviction for overcrowding; at night, the two parents would anxiously shush the busy boys to not jump or run or disturb the neighbors. One of her sons, who is autistic, had a hard time being confined in such a small space and would try to run away.

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Epstein, Anderson Lead in Voting for Two LCUSD Board Seats

 

Early returns in the race involving four candidates for two seats on the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board showed Josh Epstein and Caroline Anderson with sizable leads.

As of 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Epstein had 4,287 votes, Anderson had tallied 4,279, Jeremiah Arnold had garnered 3,093 and Belinda Randolph had 2,727.

The two seats were available because Ellen Multari’s term ended (after she resigned following a move out of the district) and Brent Kuszyk decided not to seek reelection.

The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Office has stated it will update results by 4 p.m.