The Pass It Along Fund was established by anonymous donors with one purpose: to help people at a moment of critical need without expecting anything in return. The original donors required that 100 percent of the money go directly to assist recipients within 72 hours of the request, with no obligations except to pass along two acts of kindness. Continue reading to uncover stories about how the Fund has made an impact in the lives of those recipients.
Lissette is passionate about caring for the most vulnerable so it turned her world upside down when she was unexpectedly in a position of needing help herself. Lissette was working in retail and using the money she earned to cover tuition for a Microsoft Office Specialist training program but she was laid off and soon enough, could no longer afford to keep herself in school. Lissette knew that if she dropped out, she would lose the many hours she had already spent in the program and would be one step further away from achieving her goal of becoming self-sufficient.
That’s when the staff at East San Gabriel Valley ROP told Lissette about Pass It Along. A gift from the Fund allowed Lissette to continue her courses without disrupting her life and the progress she had made. Now back in school and able to focus on the material, Lissette has time for other things like paying forward the kindness she received from Pass It Along donors.
Read How Lissette Passed It Along
She immediately signed up to volunteer as a food sorter with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, an organization that has been working to alleviate hunger throughout out L.A. since 1973. Lissette also volunteers her time helping a local nonprofit animal rescue walk and care for vulnerable dogs who are awaiting permanent homes, exemplifying the true spirit of philanthropy and inspiration behind Pass It Along.
Discover how you can transform a life like Lissette’s through Pass It Along here.
Sonia has worked hard to give her daughters the brighter futures they deserve. Originally from Peru, the single mother worked as a housekeeper to provide for her family. But in 2015, Sonia received a cancer diagnosis that put her family’s future in jeopardy. When chemotherapy treatment left her unable to work, the bills started piling up and soon, Sonia was behind on rent.
Determined to preserve her family, she turned to the Pass It Along partners at Bresee Foundation for help. They guided Sonia to apply for support from Pass It Along that allowed her to pay her rent and keep her daughters in their safe, stable home. Sonia says that if she had not received the gift during her chemotherapy treatments, she would have been forced to take out loans she wasn’t sure she’d be able to pay back to cover the rent.
Read How Sonia Passed It Along
Today, Sonia is cancer free and back at work with a new reason to smile at how far she’s come; her oldest daughter Ana was admitted to Princeton University, all expenses covered, and is studying for a career that will allow her to spark social change. Sonia’s younger daughter is excelling in school and has big plans to follow in her sister’s footsteps.
With so much to look forward to in her own life, Sonia is paying it forward by volunteering her time to assist the Bresee Foundation with community events.
You too can pass it along. Find out how you can help families like Sonia’s build brighter futures here.
Gabriel never thought he’d end up homeless. But when the 60-year-old military veteran’s benefits were terminated without warning, it seemed a life on the street was his only option. He was only weeks away from completing a criminal justice training program but feared he would have to drop out. The stress began to take a toll on Gabriel’s mental health. That’s when he sought help at the East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program and was connected with Pass It Along.
Gabriel received a grant that went toward rental assistance to keep him in his apartment, preventing him from falling into homelessness. It also provided him with assistance to purchase gas for his car so he could continue to attend school and complete his training.
Read How Gabriel Passed It Along
Not long after finishing the program, Gabriel was approached by several security companies and offered employment. He started working for a local company where he has been able to advance quickly thanks to his military background and the training he was able to complete with help from Pass It Along. Now, Gabriel is recruiting and training other security officers and has even returned to school to work toward earning his college degree.
With his newfound stability, Gabriel was also able to take on and resolve the issue with the VA that was keeping him from receiving funds. He’s using the knowledge he learned through the process to be an advocate, helping other veterans like him navigate the complex system. He has also found other ways to pass it along like helping to educate young people who are interested in the military on the sign-up process and is working on becoming a volunteer with the California State Military Reserve (C.S.M.R.). Gabriel tells everyone he meets about the transformation he’s experienced since receiving a gift from Pass It Along.
Click here to learn how you can help individuals like Gabriel transform their futures.
Kyra had a problem— after spending years as an in-home healthcare provider, she was struggling to make ends meet. She was ready to take her career to the next level but lacked the funding to further her education. Kyra needed help to make an investment in her future and with the Pass It Along Fund, she was able to do just that.
Chrysalis helped her enroll in a certified nurse assistant training program and the grant from the Fund covered the cost, including all books and materials. When she wasn’t attending class, Kyra was setting professional goals and preparing for her job search with tailored support from the employment specialists at Chrysalis. After a month of hard work and dedication, she passed the written and practical exams—securing her license and becoming a certified nurse’s assistant.
Read How Kyra Passed It Along
The Pass It Along Fund provided Kyra with the resources she needed to advance her career and pursue her dream of caring for others. Like a gift that keeps on giving, the grant inspired Kyra to pass along an act of kindness. She became a volunteer, teaching classes with a local organization that works to improve quality of life for older adults. Now, Kyra is looking forward to continuing her professional and personal growth with the goal of one day becoming a registered nurse.
If you would like to help an individual like Kyra grow by supporting the Pass It Along Fund, please click here.
In 2015, David’s life was upside down. Problems at home forced his five young children into the custody of social services, and he was seriously injured on the job, making him unable to work. It wasn’t long before he could no longer afford housing and became homeless. David was alone. The single father had emigrated to Los Angeles from El Salvador in the 90’s to escape the civil war and did not have anyone to turn to. He eventually wound up in a shelter, but he was determined to bring his family back together.
At the shelter, David enrolled in services that allowed him to gain full custody of his children. The family was reunited. With the help of Koreatown Youth & Community Center (KYCC), they transitioned into permanent supportive housing. But due to David’s limited income and lack of support, the family needed help to make the move a successful one. He applied for a supportive gift from the Pass It Along Fund that went toward the initial rent payment for their new home.
Read How David Passed It Along
Now, two years later, David and his family are thriving. The KYCC staff helped him tackle an exhaustive list of legal issues and file a successful settlement over his workplace injury, which has allowed him to regain some of what he lost through his inability to work. Finally, David is able to go back to work and is actively seeking a new job. He spends his free time attending parenting classes as well as meetings for his cooking and fitness clubs. David even serves as a steering committee community stakeholder and volunteers to help set up and take down community festivals. His children have joined KYCC’s after school leadership and enrichment programs and are busy caring for their pet Guinea pig in their free time.
David says he feels blessed; he and his children are happy and at peace. And he wants to pass it along, by encouraging other families to have the courage to make a change.
If you would like to help families like David’s transform their lives by supporting the Pass It Along Fund, please click here.
Natayla was expecting her first child when she lost her mother a few years ago. Her only support was gone. The devastating loss started her young family on a traumatic cycle of moving from shelter to shelter in search of stability. For most of 2015, Natayla and her two young children were homeless. At one point, their only shelter was her cramped two-door car.
This year is different. Natayla and her family will spend the holidays in the living room of their home at Koreatown Youth & Community Center (KYCC). They found that stability at KYCC and moved into permanent supportive housing. Soon after, Natayla’s family received a supportive gift from the Pass It Along Fund. With the gift, Natayla was able to buy household essentials like bedding and kitchen supplies as well as everything she needed to make her children feel at home.
Read How Natayla Passed It Along
Having a place with all the comforts of home has greatly contributed to the family’s stability. Since receiving the gift, Natayla has enrolled in key development services including working with a financial coach and has been able to focus on her daughter’s education, becoming very involved in her school.
Natayla didn’t just find stability, she found her voice. The young mother is now an active community leader. She serves as a facilitator, recruiter and speaker for First 5 LA’s Best Start project which helps parents in the metro area use their voices to affect change in their communities. And Natayla is giving back in other ways, like volunteering to help at community events.
If you would like to learn how you can help someone like Natayla build a brighter future for their family please click here.
There’s something special about being handed the keys to a new apartment. For Albert, the occasion was particularly monumental. After 12 years of struggling with homelessness, he was ready to make a change and was determined to no longer allow his past struggles with addiction and crime stand in his way.
In May 2016, Albert sought help at Chrysalis, a nonprofit organization that specializes in employment assistance. They provided him with training and helped him land his first job in years. Soon enough, Albert was able to secure his very own apartment. For the first time in more than a decade he had his own space, but had nothing to fill it and could not afford furniture. That’s when he was awarded a gift from the Pass It Along Fund.
Read How Albert Passed It Along
With the grant, Albert was able to furnish his new apartment and purchase other items to help him transition from living in a tent on the beach. The funds also helped him save up enough to buy tools for his new job as an Ambassador at a street cleaning and beautification company, and even a new vehicle to get him to work.
Not only did the gift from the Pass It Along Fund provide Albert with immediate relief but it also allowed him to continue to challenge himself and push past his limits. “I felt like I had a secret benefactor, and I guess I sort of did,” says Albert. “If it wasn’t for the PIA fund, I wouldn’t have the things I have, like a bed – and not the pull-out couch kind. A real bed.”
You too can give back and help individuals like Albert transform their lives. To support the Pass it Along Fund, please click here.
When Ofelia found out she was pregnant, she saved up as much money as she could from her babysitting job to survive the first few months after Jessica was born. Her grandmother and godmother helped out where they could. When her money ran out, Ofelia found full-time work as a house-keeper but she still did not have enough money to buy Jessica a crib of her own. She was sleeping in a play pen, crying all night long. A grant from the Pass It Along Fund changed this.
Read How Jessica Passed It Along
“I knew there were people who help mothers like me, but I never thought I would receive this help. When I found out, I was so grateful. The best part is that the help is for who I love most in the world – my daughter. The grant from The Pass It Along Fund paid for Jessica to finally have her own crib, a mattress, a Hello Kitty bedding set, and a special balance toy that helps her. She loves it all!” shared Ofelia.
Jessica is sleeping though the night and Ofelia volunteers in Jessica’s preschool classroom where both mom and baby are learning so many new things. “Jessica loves to dance, sing and use her imagination,” says Ofelia. “When she grows up, I will tell her what we received from you. Thank you for making our lives better.”
Please click here to learn how you can help individuals like Ofelia transform their lives through support of the Pass It Along Fund.
Diana, a widow with a young son, was determined to create a better life for her family. But after putting herself through school and earning an associate’s degree in culinary arts, she found herself struggling to find work because of a lack of experience. As student loans came due, she was unable to cover her monthly rent and meet her family’s basic needs. Not knowing what else to do, she sought help at the P.F. Bresee Foundation. They were able to provide it through the Pass it Along Fund.
Read How Diana Passed It Along
The Pass It Along Fund was established by anonymous donors to provide financial assistance directly to individuals facing a moment of acute need. The only request in return is that these individuals pass along two acts of kindness. Recipients have expressed their gratitude through thousands of generous acts, sharing the help they’ve been given and transforming their communities.
The emergency rental assistance Diana received allowed her to provide for her son while continuing to search for work, eventually finding long-term employment at Urth Caffé. In turn, she gave back by participating in a community clean-up, distributing meals to the homeless and teaching basic cooking classes to students at Bresee.
To support the Pass it Along Fund and help individuals like Diana to overcome obstacles, please click here.
Being a single mother to an 11-year-old and 17-year-old while working to make ends meet as a housekeeper is challenging as it is, but add a pandemic and economic uncertainty, and it can seem nearly impossible. This is exactly where Angelina found herself when the stay at home orders were announced in mid-March. All the homes she cleaned asked her not to return until it was safe. Emotionally distraught, Angelina and her young family needed a lifeline. Angelina is among the 1.6 million Californians who are out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Economic hardship is rapidly emerging as a central concern of our nonprofit partners and communities across Los Angeles County, particularly for working poor families furloughed in industries like service, hospitality and construction.
CCF’s approach to economic hardship assistance was to activate and fully fund the Pass It Along Fund program, which is a proven network of long-standing direct service providers who have long provided emergency assistance with CCF support for over 20 years. The PIA program provides grants to nonprofits who can help provide direct hardship assistance to individuals.
Read How Bresee Foundation Passed It Along
When Angelina needed help, she was able to turn to PIA grantee, the Bresee Foundation, for help. Bresee was able to evaluate her circumstances and determine how to offer support. Without money for rent, Angelina was at risk of becoming homeless, but because of her courage to ask for help and Bresee and PIA’s support, she was able to pay two-months’ rent and gain some hope during a trying moment. Angelina reflected, “During these times, there’s been a lot of stress because you think about not being able to pay rent and falling behind on your bills. Personally, I have had trouble sleeping. This aid is a big help because it is going to help us pay for rent. The foundation makes us a part of a family, part of the community and it makes us feel supported.”
When so many of our neighbors like Angelina need to feel supported and part of a community, we can create more acts of kindness by helping each other when we need it most.
Please click here to learn how you can help individuals like Angelina transform their lives through support of the Pass It Along Fund.