From scholarships to college endowments, Coachella Valley residents and organizations donate to a wide variety of good causes and recognize those who serve the community. Here’s a look at some recent local acts of generosity:
Rancho Mirage Lounge Officially Opens Post-COVID, Benefits Desert Guide Dogs
Two years ago, Mink Organic Hair Studio opened in Rancho Mirage, just as businesses and events began to close due to COVID.
“My opening day was March 13, 2020”, owner Rebecca Alcorn mentioned. “We all remember that day very well. The whole world shut down. We went the other way and opened our place outside in the high temperatures and started cutting hair and connecting our community.” Fast forward two years and “we’re a thriving salon,” Alcorn said.
After the pandemic, Visons Organic Hair Studio held its official groundbreaking ceremony on April 8. The event, an advantage for Desert Guide Dogs, sold raffle tickets and gift certificates for show service, raising $250 for the organization, which the show doubled for a total of $500. Additionally, Alcorn said, “We think we’ve gained some volunteers for the program.” visionsorganichairstudio.com, guidedogsofthedesert.org
New Riverside County Homestay Graduate Scholarship Opportunity
On April 12, Family Services Association (FSA) announced a new scholarship opportunity for high school seniors who have been involved in the foster care system. More than 20 scholarships will be awarded under the new initiative, which aims to help foster youth pursue their post-secondary education and achieve their career goals.
the Fostering Hope Scholarship was made possible through funding from the San Manuel Mission Band of Indians.
“We are grateful to loyal and generous partners like San Manuel who are committed to improving access for students who may have barriers to education,” said Shannon GonzalezChief Operating Officer of the Family Service Association.
San Manuel Mission Indian Band Vice President Johnny Hernandez said, “We are honored to support the Family Services Association’s Fostering Hope initiative and their efforts to make college a more attainable goal for young adoptees in our community. The San Manuel Mission Indian Band truly believes that education is the key to a better future and the FSA is doing just that with its Fostering Hope program.
The deadline to apply for the scholarships is April 24. More information, including eligibility requirements and application, is available at hopecollaborative.org/fostering-hope.
Desert Business Association presents $80,000 in grants to local businesses
the Desert Business Association (DBA)the Coachella Valley LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, awarded six local businesses grants totaling $80,000 on March 28 to help with their pandemic recovery efforts, thanks to a partnership between Grubhub and the National LGBT Chamber (NGLCC).
Local catering businesses that received grants of $10,000 or $15,000 were AMP Sports Fair and Track bar and restaurant in Cathedral City and of the hunter, Air bar Bouschet/PS, Wilma & Frieda and Oscar in Palm Springs.
the NGLCC and Grubhub Community Impact Grant Program provides a financial lifeline to those impacted by COVID-19. These funds were the result of Grubhub’s give the change program, which launched in late 2019 and has since raised tens of millions of dollars for organizations in need.
“These grants will have a positive impact on these businesses, allowing them to improve their operations and continue to serve our communities,” said the DBA Executive Director. David Powell. “Our diverse small businesses have been hit hard over the past two years, and we hope they will grow stronger and even more successful in the future.” desertbusiness.org, nglcc.org
Pinwheel Garden raises awareness for National Child Abuse Prevention Month
In recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Monthfrom kindergarten to 3rd grade Ronald Reagan Elementary School in Palm Desert planted a garden of monumental windmills on April 8 as part of their commitment to the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Centerit is fightchildabuse.org campaign. Pinwheels are the recognized symbol of the prevention of child abuse.
The campaign is calling on 100,000 people around the world to get involved this month in preventing child abuse. The multimedia and cross-platform campaign also calls on children to take the pledge and learn how to keep themselves safe from abuse by watching the “Protect Yourself Rules” video series.
“Our priority is always to provide resources, knowledge and tools to identify and prevent child abuse, and as part of this overarching goal, we would like to secure 100,000 pledges in April,” said John Thoresen, CEO of the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center. “Every child deserves a safe and healthy childhood, and raising awareness about preventing this problem is more important than ever.” fightchildabuse.org, barbarasinatrachildrenscenter.org
Vision to Learn’s free eyewear program reaches Riverside County
Vision to learna non-profit organization founded in 2012 by the Beutner Family Foundationhelped provide over 1.5 million children with eye exams, over 340,000 with eye exams and 270,000 with glasses, all for free.
Students enthusiastic about Ina Arbuckle Elementary School at Riverside were thrilled to try out their new prescription glasses on the morning of March 31. In partnership with Vision to Learn, Warby Parker is committed to providing new eyeglasses to students in the Jurupa Unified School District as part of their ongoing school vision program, Student project. This project is part of the expansion of Vision to Learn and Warby Parker’s Pupils Project in Riverside County, where the program will provide more than 28,000 students in need with eye exams and eyeglasses over the next two school years.
The expansion of their Southern California program is possible thanks to the support of several generous donors, including The Studio @ Blue Meridian and an anonymous donor. visiontolearn.org.