“What use is it for our children to have a bunch of money but live in an environment where people are starving and sick and illiterate?”

— John and Sheila Suarez

John and Sheila Suarez

John began his childhood in Cuba, where his father taught him to play chess and question authority. Sheila grew up with an aunt and uncle in Santa Maria, who planted corn, tomatoes and string beans in their victory garden and hosted soldiers from the nearby military base every Friday night. Given the amount of injustice in the world, we are committed social activists. Our legacy will carry our values forward by supporting organizations focused on civil rights, the First Amendment, the environment, animal rights, and fighting injustice and tyranny.


The California Community Foundation partnered with StoryCorps to record the stories of our Centennial Legacy Society members. StoryCorps is a national nonprofit whose mission is to provide all people with the chance to record, preserve, and share the stories of our lives.

what matters is not how we differ, but what we share


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