12 Days of Giving – Day 3 – Mama’s Kitchen

As a younger woman, I was living in San Diego. My job wasn’t challenging, and I wasn’t challenging myself. Let’s just say that after work every day I found myself watching two episodes of Martin before going out to party with friends. Fun? Yes. Rewarding? Not so much. I don’t recall the catalyst, but I began to look for ways to contribute to the community. How I found Mama’s Kitchen? I don’t know, but I sure am I glad I did. I volunteered for 7 years until I moved from San Diego to Burbank.

Mama’s Kitchen was established in 1990 as a San Diego nonprofit organization to offer nutritional support to people with AIDS who were too poor, depressed, or ill to prepare meals for themselves. Highly organized, Mama’s Kitchen has hundreds of volunteers who come to the Kitchen to pick up for their clients three hot meals a day, seven days a week; my route was Wednesday and varied from 8-14 clients. The service to their clients is at no charge whatsoever, sustaining 1200 people a year in San Diego County.

2004 brought a new service for those who were ill, but not home bound: Mama’s Pantry. They offer bags of healthy groceries once a month to people affected by AIDS. Clients come to the Pantry and “shop” for non-perishables of a wide variety.

The Critical Illness Nutrition Program began in 2006, providing home-delivered meals to those with cancer, under 60, who were too ill to prepare their own healthy meals.

In 2009, they extended their services to children with parents who were suffering from AIDS, and were unable to feed their children healthy meals. That year, they served 43,000 meals to 75 children who were also nutritionally in need; the majority of those children were aged 13 or younger.

My experience with Mama’s Kitchen was fun, warm, and rewarding. Even though getting to know our clients wasn’t under the sunniest of circumstances, they shared warm smiles, hugs, and gratitude.

“Since our first day of operations we have never turned away anyone qualified for our services and we are determined that we never will.”

Contact Mama’s Kitchen to find out how to volunteer or donate to their nutritious cause.  You can  help with deliveries, food prep, pack grocery bags, food drives, or even answer phones. And they can always use a monetary donation.

Sidney Patrick writes at My Mother in Law is Still Sitting Between Us… Find her on Twitter

12 Days of Giving – Day 2 – The Unforgettables Foundation

During my time as a reporter for my local paper, I learned about one organization that worked to aid families in some of the darkest hours I could imagine.

Those following the death of a child.

I covered several stories- a young mother who lost her premature baby after it lived months past what the doctors told her- a family who died in a fiery auto crash, young patients who lost their battles with illnesses.

Sometimes when I was spending time in the office I would take a call from a local resident looking for coverage of a story so people would donate to the unexpected funeral expenses of a child, or just for advice who to turn to when the car washes weren’t enough to pay for a casket.

There was one group that was always there in the stories, on my lips.

The Unforgettables Foundation.

The Unforgettables Foundation was created in 1999 to assist low-income families give their children a respectful burial.

It serves Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties and have helped over 3500 families since 2000.

The requests for aid for families who have lost one so young comes from hospitals, social service agencies and the families themselves.

The Unforgettables also holds a New Year’s Eve event to honor the passing of children who died each year with a candlelight walk “Lights for Little Lives”.

The group offers CPR group training sessions with its free program CPR2U and has taught 9,000 people in the Inland area in schools, community centers and synagogues.

Contact The Unforgettables Foundations at its main office in Redlands or one of its other locations to find out more about the CPR4Uprogram or how to donate to an amazing organization that helps families pay for burials no one was expecting would come so soon for some so young.

Megan writes at Sunshine Wonderland. Find her on Twitter

12 Days of Giving – Day 1 – The SCV Youth Project

I wanted to kick off our 12 Days of Giving with an amazing charity located in my home town.

The SCV Youth Project was founded in 2000 to serve the needs of local at-risk Santa Clarita Valley Youth.

 “Our mission is to provide a safe, nurturing environment where at-risk teens and their families are strengthened, empowered and equipped with the tools they need to live successful and healthy lives.  We intervene early, offering unconditional acceptance and cost-free programming in order to mitigate the impacts on health and academic success associated with high-risk behavior.” – SCV Youth Project Website

Counselors are available to handle any teen issue that comes up: drugs and alcohol addiction, abuse, divorce, depression.  The  SCV Youth Project provides that safe environment to really help kids and their families.  Led by Executive Director, Kim Goldman, the Youth Project is active on in all of the high schools in the Santa Clarita Valley.  They provide group support as well as individual support.  Services are provided free of charge and the Youth Project relies on grants and donors for all of their funding.

But wait… there’s more.  The SCV Youth Project website is an amazing resource for helping teens (and parents) with issues from choosing the right college to helpful birth control information.  They are available to answer your questions

I think there is definitely a serious lack of help and intervention for teens these days so I love that we have a local source to call on.  What really sets The SCV Youth Project apart for me is that not only are they helping teens, they are also helping the parents.

For more information about The SCV Youth Project, take a look at their extensive website.

To keep updated on The SCV Youth Project, follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Carolyn West writes at This Talk Ain’t Cheap.  Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Blogger Spotlight: Hello Erin!

My name is Erin, there are so many things that define who I am, but most important I am a mom to two beautiful miracle boys, children they said I’d never have. I’ve lived a lot of life in a short amount of time. I’m a cancer survivor, and have learned that the best day in life is today! So my motto, Life Happens, so Live it, no regrets. My friends know me best, but my life is an open book, and I’m willing to share any of my experiences, if it helps someone else, then it was all worth it. I love to create but I am far from crafty. I hate shopping unless it’s for someone else. I’ll try anything once. (Well, most things anyway.) I love to laugh with my friends. When I am your friend, I am a friend for life. My biggest fear is the loss of my children and my mom. I am a simply complex person, but so easy to know!

For the Moms
Simply Simple

Remembering Our Past
Back where I come from

From Erin’s “Write You Beautiful” Blog
A New Adventure

Follow Erin on Twitter and Facebook.

12 Days of Giving

We know how busy everyone is getting ready to celebrate the holidays- shopping for presents, decorating homes, visiting loved ones and hiding that little elf doll every single day to  keep children on the ‘nice’ list.

We also know our wonderful SoCal Lady Bloggers are a group of ladies who love their communities and want to support those who need help this holiday season.

Beginning on Wednesday, December 8, and running for 12 consecutive days, we will be introducing you to a different Southern California charity that could really use your help this time of year.  We are calling it the “12 Days of Giving” and we’d love you to participate. 

If there is a local charity that you have worked with or know could use some extra help, please email us at socalladybloggers@gmail.com and tell us what makes this particular charity meaningful to you.

Let’s show Southern California how much we care!

Be Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving

From all of us at SoCal Lady Bloggers

May your day be filled with family, love, good food and special moments. 

Holiday Blogger Mixer – DownEast Basics

DownEast Basics Boutique in Irvine is holding a Holiday Blogger Mixer and they are inviting the SoCal Lady Bloggers to attend.  If you RSVP and attend the Mixer, you will receive a $25 Gift Card to use at the store.  DownEast Basics is all about guilt-free shopping and offers boutique looks on a bargain basement budget.  I know we all love that.  They opened at the Irvine Spectrum Center in July.  You can read about them HERE.  If you haven’t seen the store yet, they have a great variety of fun holiday clothes.  You can also order online if you aren’t able to make it to Irvine.

You can check out some of their fun new holiday trends by visiting their website.  And… they’ve been featured in O, the Oprah Magazine!

Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Time: 7:00 pm

Place: DownEast Basics
Irvine Spectrum Center
71 Fortune Drive
Irvine, CA

RSVP to Kathy Cabrera at kcabrera@fizzbrands.com

Blogger Spotlight: Hello Beverly!


My day job is at an accounting firm, but at night, I put on my super-hero cape, and write in ways that make people cry, laugh, and sometimes learn.  Okay – all lies, except for the cape part.  (What, can’t I have my blankie?)  I write erotica, steamy romance, G-rated essays, and sometimes commit mindless babble.

Of course, I have so many posts that are my favorites, because I’m so amazing *snicker* but here’s three I feel all warm and fuzzy about.  Even without my cape/blankie.

Blowing big air kisses to all my So Cal Lady Blogger Sisters!
Follow Beverly on Twitter and Facebook.

Blogger Spotlight: Hello Paula!

Paula is the Chief-Juggling-Officer for her multi-generational family. For the past ten years, she has been smack in the middle of the Sandwich Generation, balancing the roles of being a wife, a mom to a teen and a tween and most recently, a caregiver for her mother who lives in her guesthouse.

 Prior to being a “Sandwich” Mama, she owned a family resource business speaking to parent groups and working one-on-one with overloaded moms. Since her passion is for systems and strategies, she created her Simply Sandwich blog to be a central point of support, practical ideas and survival skills for any busy mom!

For information on caring for an older parent.
Elder Care

Great meal tips.

Support for care-givers.
Sandwich Mom

Follow Paula on Twitter and Facebook.

If you are interested in being a Monday featured blogger, email us your name, blog link, short bio and 2 – 3 blog posts you are most proud of.  We will be featuring bloggers in the order we hear from you so please be patient if it takes a while.