Article originally appeared in the Palisadian-Post on June 5, 2014.
Throughout the year, women from the Palisades and surrounding areas have gathered together in local living rooms to create the LA Women’s Circle of Giving, pooling their charitable dollars to make a difference in the lives of women, children and families in Los Angeles County.
In their first annual giving cycle, the LA Women’s Circle of Giving allocated a $30,000 grant to CASA of Los Angeles at a dinner on May 14. CASA’s mission is to mobilize community volunteers to advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children in the overburdened foster care system of Los Angeles County, and this grant will specifically support advocacy services for older foster youth, aged 12 to 20.
An additional grant was also given to “No Limits,” an organization that works with deaf children.
“It has been a great experience, coming together as a community to reach out to these charities,” said Bienveneda resident Tatsinda Cohen. “The Circle of Giving is really an amazing way to connect with other women. There are a million charitable organizations out there, but this has really brought us together to make an impact.”
Cohen came to the group through her friendship with fellow Kehillat Israel member, Mindy Freedman, who founded the group.
“We seek to select causes that reflect our passions and we focus on community needs that can benefit from our time, commitment, abilities and insights,” Freedman said.
In addition to advocating for needs, volunteers working with older foster youth encourage them to develop vision and initiative and seek to provide them with the tools, motivation, support and opportunities that they need to become independent, successful adults leading fulfilled lives.