Growing up in the Jewish community, donor Erika Glazer learned the importance of giving back early. “In Saturday school, we raised money to plant Israel’s John F. Kennedy forest. If you gave a quarter, they’d plant a tree and name it after your grandparents.” Today, she’s still upholding that tradition, planting seeds and helping futures blossom for young Black men through CCF’s BLOOM (Building a Lifetime of Options and Opportunities for Men).
Young Black men who drop out of high school face a 90 percent chance of incarceration, but a high school diploma reduces that figure to 12 percent. By combining academic support with mentorship and other services, BLOOM has helped more than 500 young men in South L.A. move onto positive paths so they can realize their potential and give back to their communities. This year, BLOOMers had a 100 percent high school graduation rate, with 94 percent moving on to college.
Erika’s involvement in BLOOM has changed many lives, even her own. “I took a bunch of BLOOMers to Lawry’s,” she said. “One kid told me about his struggle to graduate from high school while dealing with homelessness. Yet he was so thankful for all the things he did have. It was heartbreaking and inspiring.”
The California Community Foundation helps thousands of donors like Erika to turn their visions into reality, transforming generosity into lasting impact in Los Angeles and around the world. We offer services tailored to their needs and passions, from identifying charitable opportunities to arranging site visits with nonprofits and creating custom giving plans. Our expert staff specializes in finding the most effective organizations to meet donors’ goals, anywhere in the world. This year, our donors supported an incredible range of causes, strategies and approaches, giving nearly 5,000 grants totaling almost $135 million.
To Erika, the secret to effective, satisfying giving is letting yourself get fully involved. Whether you’re donating money or time, starting a Donor Advised Fund or contributing a quarter to plant a tree, you can help make a better future for everyone. “If you can elevate yourself, and grab two more hands and elevate them, and they each grab two more and so on, the world would be a better place,” Erika said.
To learn more about how CCF partners with donors to realize their charitable visions, visit calfund.org/donors.