What's Happening at Project Access

Tis the Season to Give at Project Access

Posted on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 @ 01:36 PM

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Project Access would be nothing without the generosity of its donors and volunteers. During the holiday season especially, we are so blessed to have gracious organizations donate funds, food, volunteers, host toy drives and more! From local Starbucks to Mazda dealerships, we are showered with goodies to share with our residents.

"In the communities that we work with, it’s sometimes easy to forget that some of the things these families have a hard time accessing is being able to fulfill all of their childrens' needs and expectations for the holidays.  So these toys and donations really brighten the lives of those in the communities we serve, as well as ease the loads families carry. These generous gifts from others supplant empty hearts and lives, creating the magic of the holidays at our sites,” says Daniel Romero, Service Coordinator in Santa Ana.

Last year, Sentre Partners in Irvine donated hundreds of toys that they collected at a toy drive they organized.  “I was overjoyed that someone took the time to organize a toy drive for my center, every child went home happy and with a toy in hand thanks to the extra toy donation,” says Service Coordinator Elizabeth Mejia.

Generous organizations really help make the holidays at Project Access the success that it is. One such organization is called Mothers and Daughters for Multiple Causes. They are what their name suggests, mothers and daughters working side-by-side to help out in their community. This year, they are sending about 20 members to volunteer at a community building holiday event at Hermosa Village in Anaheim. They’ll be helping with games, face painting, crafts, passing out snacks, helping people sign in, and cleaning up. This event will even have a special appearance from Santa as well as Krispy Kreme Donuts and Starbucks coffee (that was donated by a local Starbucks).  Residents are rushing to sign up for the awesome raffle prizes as well. Related Management, the property management company for Hermosa Village, is donating a TV and Beats By Dre headphones!

As you can see, a lot of organizations came together to make this event a special one for the residents. Not only did Mothers and Daughters for Multiple Causes volunteer their time, but they also collected donations and bought toys for our kids. Sara Guggenheim Jarrett, our main contact with the organization, collected donations on our behalf and made a generous donation herself. She also owns a preschool in Newport called Newport Coast Preschool that is hosting a toy drive for us. Sara shares why she chose to work with us:

“We chose Project Access because our charity is about hands on volunteering and we wanted the girls to be able to participate in and see "hands on" and with their own eyes the difference that volunteering makes. We were looking for charities that would allow our 13 year old girls to participate hands on and I remembered Project Access and reached out. We were so pleased to find out that Project Access would allow our 13 year olds to come in and "spread the joy" this holiday season.  It's so important for the girls to see what kind of difference they can make and just as important for the children at these facilities to see that not only adults but their peers care and want to make a difference. Thank you Project Access for this opportunity!”

If you or your company would like to get involved, please visit http://www.project-access.org/spreadthejoy for more information!

Topics: Donors

Project Access Family Portrait Nights

Posted on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 @ 09:25 AM

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A picture is worth a thousand words, and for the residents, it’s worth a lot of smiles too! Little pop-up portrait studios have made their ways into our family resource centers for the holidays; and families have been lining up to get their portraits taken. For a lot of our families, this is a rare opportunity for them to get a picture taken professionally. Portrait studios can cost upwards of $30 per session which is a luxury they just can’t afford.

“With two toddlers, it’s so hard to make it to a studio to take Holiday photos to send to our family…and it’s expensive! I’m so glad [Project Access] is providing this free service right at our home!” says a resident at a resource center in Anaheim.  

Families can sign up at the Family Resource centers for a 10 minute slot with the photographer. Once the photos are edited, Service Coordinators print the photos and put them in a nice frame to give to the residents.

Service Coordinator in Rowland Heights, Brenda Morales, tells us “I put the pictures in frames so when I delivered the portraits everyone was so happy and grateful, we had some really nice pictures and the residents all loved them! I had one grandma tell me ‘I will now finally be able to have a family picture in our living room.’”

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To learn how you can help other families this holiday season, please visit: http://www.project-access.org/spreadthejoy 

Staff Spotlight - Cambria Bowman and Jessica Collado

Posted on Fri, Oct 24, 2014 @ 01:55 PM

cambria-1Name: Cambria Bowman

What do you do for Project Access: I am the Service Coordinator at Whispering Pines in Phoenix.

What are you most looking forward to at your new position?: I am super excited to open a brand new center and to build relationships and connections with the Phoenix community. I am also looking forward to starting my After School Program and getting that off the ground.

What do you do for yourself? (for fun/hobbies/side business/etc): First, I teach yoga and I love doing that, as well as taking classes. Arizona is a great place to be outdoors (except in the summer!) and I love going hiking and taking my dog out to new places. I also am a big shopper and love traveling.

Would you rather eat pizza every day for the rest of your life, or only be able to eat it once a year? Pizza every day!!

Who is your celebrity doppelganger? Oh goodness, I have been told Emma Roberts a few times, but that's the only consistent once I hear!

Who would you rather save you, Batman or Superman? Batman, forever!

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jessicacName: Jessica Collado

Nickname (if any): Jess or Collis 

What do you do for Project Access: Service Coordinator in AZ 

What are you most looking forward to at your new position?: Meeting our residents, working with kids again :) and having an outlet for my creative brain

What do you do for yourself? (for fun/hobbies/side business/etc): Read, sew, paint, working on reviving my blog

If you could bring someone famous back from the dead, who would you choose and why? Martin Luther King Jr., he has been my hero since forever! He brought truth, awareness and peace to an issue that continues to plague our country-racisim-we will never know the extent of his influence because his life was cut too short. It be an honor to talk and be in his presence. 

What is your favorite potato chip flavor? it varies but I love Black Pepper or Salt and Vinegar

Who is your favorite Disney Villain? Cruella de Vil (she was a bit crazy)

National Youth Science Day with 4-H and Project Access

Posted on Thu, Oct 9, 2014 @ 02:25 PM

Check out a video montage of our Project Access youth across the entire state of California working on a science project where they launched their own rockets and learned about rocket science and aerospace engineering. Thank you to 4-H for collaborating with us on this project, as we know STEM education is important to the future of our youth! We are excited to expand our Education for Youth programs with you!

For more information on the project, please visit: http://www.4-h.org/4-h-national-youth-science-day/ 

Partnership Highlight - 18 Reasons

Posted on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 @ 02:02 PM

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We just need one reason to love 18 Reasons!

18 Reasons shares their culinary skills and creativity with our Bay Area communities through “Cooking Matters,” a program offering free, six-week-long series of cooking and nutrition classes. The instructors come prepared with all the ingredients and recipes they need to whip up healthy and delicious foods to cook during class, and enough for the residents to take home to recreate their culinary masterpieces for their families!

Aside from being a fun cooking class, the residents learn about important topics such as what a healthy plate consists of, what healthy fats are, facts and myths of the nutrition world, and what nutrients can be found in the foods they eat and what that means for your health.

The class appeals to all ages and ethnic groups in the community. Annabelle Sibthorpe, the Service Coordinator at our Oakland sites, loves to see so many different people who wouldn’t normally interact, working together towards a common goal.

Everyone loves the classes at our sites in Oakland! Ms. Georgia, one of the seniors at Keller Plaza, lost 27 pounds since attending the classes! She learned the importance of eating breakfast and starting the day off right at the classes and has a better understanding of what a healthy plate looks like. Ms. Georgia will be amongst the graduating class after the 6 week course is done. Each graduate receives a cook book, cutting board, chef’s hat, and certificate.

Bon Appétit!

To learn more about 18 Reasons, visit their website at: https://18reasons.org/cooking-matters

Topics: Project Access, Affordable Housing, Capacity Building for Adults, partnership highlight, Health, Success Story

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