The Auen Foundation

Matching Grant helps Mama’s House Purchase 15-Passenger Van

A recent $25,000 match­ing grant from the Auen Foun­da­tion made the pur­chase of a 15-pas­sen­ger van for Mama’s House pos­si­ble. The van trans­ports the 10 res­i­dent moms and their babies to appoint­ments, school, and oth­er out­ings. “We were unable to car­ry all the moms and babies togeth­er in our small six-pas­sen­ger van, rely­ing on our vol­un­teers to help out with their own cars or vans,” said Jan Lupia, Mama’s House founder and CEO. Dur­ing a recent site vis­it by Sher­rie Auen and Catharine Reed, Sher­rie men­tioned, “If you can find $25,000, we’ll offer a match­ing grant to pur­chase a van.” Lupia sent out an email request to her vol­un­teers and board, and with­in an hour she said major donor Anne Thomp­son-Sil­ver­stein respond­ed with the match­ing funds. With the help of Paul Thiel, Max Tal­lon and Tyler Van­do­ra of Palm Springs Motors, Mama’s House found a “very good price” on a near­ly-new, low-mileage Ford XLT 15 pas­sen­ger van. “With this big van we do not need to have as many on-call vol­un­teer dri­vers,” said Lupia. “There is now enough room for all our res­i­dents, their babies in car seats, plus strollers and dia­per bags. Many times moms are going to the same place at the same time, so being able to trans­port every­one at once saves gas, and our pre­cious vol­un­teers’ time for oth­er needs.” Mama’s House offers a safe, sup­port­ive, lov­ing res­i­den­tial envi­ron­ment for women who are fac­ing an unplanned preg­nan­cy, vul­ner­a­ble with no place to live or means of sup­port. Mama’s House expand­ed edu­ca­tion­al and coun­sel­ing ser­vices with the open­ing of the Hope Cen­ter in June, 2017 at 44875 Deep Canyon, Suite 2. Hope Cen­ter is a suite of offices, meet­ing and class­room space where a full spec­trum of edu­ca­tion and coun­sel­ing pro­grams are now avail­able to res­i­dent moms. Mama’s House is oper­at­ed by Heart­beat at 22, a 501©3 non­prof­it faith-based orga­ni­za­tion found­ed by Jan Lupia, exec­u­tive direc­tor. For more infor­ma­tion, call (844) 232‑8622 or vis­it...
read more

AAP — Food Samaritans Honors Auen Foundation

AAP — Food Samar­i­tans (AAP) hon­ored sev­er­al sig­nif­i­cant com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers and orga­ni­za­tions at its 25th Annu­al Evening Under the Stars gala at the O’Donnell Golf Club in Palm Springs. The hon­orees include Auen Foun­da­tion, rep­re­sent­ed by Sher­rie Auen, Ron Auen, and Catharine Reed for the Jean­nette Rock­e­feller Human­i­tar­i­an Award, The Desert Sun Media Group for the Glo­ria Greene Inspi­ra­tion Award, Desert Ten­nis Asso­ci­a­tion, rep­re­sent­ed by Nabil Naj­jar for the Herb Lazen­by Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vice Award, and Denise Haslam and Angela Slater for the Frank Jur­czyk Vol­un­teer Award. The hon­orees will receive pub­lic recog­ni­tion at the annu­al fundrais­ing event. “AAP – Food Samar­i­tans could not ful­fill our mis­sion with­out the ded­i­ca­tion and sup­port of the incred­i­ble peo­ple and orga­ni­za­tions that sup­port us,” said Mark Anton, CEO/Executive Direc­tor of AAP – Food Samar­i­tans. “With­out their car­ing and inspi­ra­tional guid­ance, we would not be able to sup­port the nutri­tion­al needs of those low-income indi­vid­u­als liv­ing with HIV/AIDS and oth­er chron­ic ill­ness­es in our com­mu­ni­ty. We are so very grate­ful for their unyield­ing kind­ness that they exhib­it on a dai­ly basis not only for AAP, but for many oth­er orga­ni­za­tions across the entire Coachel­la Val­ley.” Evening Under the Stars is the largest annu­al fundrais­er for AAP – Food Samar­i­tans, a non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that pro­vides nutri­tion­al sup­port for low-income peo­ple liv­ing with HIV/AIDS and oth­er chron­ic ill­ness­es. Gala fes­tiv­i­ties began with a “quin­tes­sen­tial­ly Palm Springs” sun­set cock­tail hour against a back­drop of the majes­tic San Jac­in­to Moun­tains. The awards pro­gram, emceed by actors Bob­bie Eakes and San­ford Reed, rec­og­nized the inspi­ra­tional hon­orees includ­ing the Auen Foun­da­tion. “Sher­rie and Ron Auen, and Catharine Reed are three of the most car­ing peo­ple in the world,” said Anton. “They each have a gift for know­ing how to make sig­nif­i­cant impacts. It is with deep grat­i­tude that AAP is able to count itself among those who are pos­i­tive­ly affect­ed by the kind­ness and gen­eros­i­ty of the Auen Foun­da­tion and also pub­licly rec­og­nize them with this award.” The Jean­nette Rock­e­feller Human­i­tar­i­an Award is named after Jean­nette Rock­e­feller, the found­ing pres­i­dent of AAP – Food Samar­i­tans. The award was estab­lished in 1997 to hon­or the human­i­tar­i­an efforts of out­stand­ing com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers and rec­og­nizes indi­vid­u­als who have lent their ener­gy, com­mit­ment, and influ­ence to raise aware­ness and fund­ing for impor­tant issues includ­ing HIV/AIDS. Pre­vi­ous recip­i­ents include Earl Green­berg, R. D. & Joan Dale Hub­bard, Helene Galen, James Hous­ton, Harold Matzn­er, and Sen­a­tor...
read more

Auen Foundation grants will help students in financial “gap”

While col­lege is an excit­ing time for many stu­dents, oth­ers have the stress­ful real­i­ty of financ­ing their edu­ca­tion to sup­port their dreams. Two grants from the Auen Foun­da­tion aim to alle­vi­ate that bur­den for some local col­lege stu­dents caught in what is termed a “gap.” This is where many stu­dents fall when they don’t qual­i­fy for state and fed­er­al need-based aid, but have dif­fi­cul­ty pay­ing for col­lege expens­es, par­tic­u­lar­ly when unfore­seen cir­cum­stances arise. “Many stu­dents are above the income thresh­old, but are still strug­gling to pay for school and the cost of liv­ing,” said Peter Stur­geon, with the Col­lege of the Desert (COD) Foun­da­tion, which received a $50,000 grant to assist stu­dents in its rig­or­ous nurs­ing pro­gram. “This is espe­cial­ly dif­fi­cult for those peo­ple sup­port­ing more than just them­selves. Many of our nurs­ing stu­dents are sin­gle par­ents and vet­er­ans, look­ing to improve their lives and the finan­cial secu­ri­ty of their fam­i­lies.” “These funds will help stu­dents who are prob­a­bly already mak­ing sac­ri­fices and fac­ing chal­lenges to attend uni­ver­si­ty,” said Dr. Sharon Brown-Wel­ty, Dean of Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, San Bernardi­no (CSUSB) Palm Desert Cam­pus, which received a $50,000 grant ear­marked for emer­gency assis­tance for qual­i­fy­ing stu­dents. As stu­dents apply for these emer­gency grants, CSUSB Palm Desert Cam­pus admin­is­tra­tors plan to col­lect addi­tion­al data to deter­mine con­sis­tent obsta­cles that impede on col­lege stu­dents’ suc­cess­es. It is already known that the col­lege attain­ment rate in the Coachel­la Val­ley is less than 30 per­cent for all adults, and only 12 per­cent for His­pan­ic adults, which make up 40 per­cent of the com­mu­ni­ty. Under­stand­ing how to attract and sup­port addi­tion­al stu­dents is a com­po­nent of how the Auen Foun­da­tion gift will fur­ther assist CSUSB Palm Desert Cam­pus. “The Auen Foun­da­tion believes in the impor­tance of high­er edu­ca­tion in our com­mu­ni­ty, and we con­tin­u­al­ly look for ways to part­ner with our local col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties,” said Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer of the Auen Foun­da­tion. “A col­lege edu­ca­tion is becom­ing increas­ing­ly crit­i­cal for job secu­ri­ty, and we want to sup­port those stu­dents in our area who are mak­ing a com­mit­ment to achieve that goal.” Each insti­tu­tion has its own appli­ca­tion process to qual­i­fy stu­dents for grants between $1,500-$2,500 per cal­en­dar year to sup­port imme­di­ate and short-term chal­lenges that hin­der indi­vid­ual suc­cess. Fund­ing is allo­cat­ed on a case-by-case basis, but pos­si­ble uses may include text­book and oth­er course sup­plies, short-term trans­porta­tion needs, sup­port for house­hold basics in...
read more

Auen Foundation sponsors two guide dog puppies in training

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Auen Foun­da­tion recent­ly met two pup­pies they are spon­sor­ing for guide dog train­ing at Guide Dogs of the Desert. Sher­rie Auen, Pro­gram Direc­tor, and Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer, named the stan­dard poo­dles Katie and Sandy after fam­i­ly mem­bers. “It was great to meet these pup­pies, which will be trained to make an impor­tant impact in two people’s lives,” said Reed. “These lov­able pup­pies have no idea how impor­tant that are.” The pup­pies will first be raised by a fos­ter fam­i­ly until they are 18–20 months old, and then they will live and train at the facil­i­ty in White­wa­ter where they will par­tic­i­pate in a rig­or­ous 4–6 month train­ing. If the dogs com­plete the pro­gram and reach grad­u­a­tion, each will be placed with a per­son who is visu­al­ly impaired. Togeth­er this new team will train fur­ther at the organization’s live-in facil­i­ty for 28 days in order for the dog to help pro­vide its new own­er safe mobil­i­ty, com­pan­ion­ship and inde­pen­dence. Since 1972, Guide Dogs of the Desert has grad­u­at­ed more than 1,375 teams from its pro­gram, all accred­it­ed by the Inter­na­tion­al Guide Dog Fed­er­a­tion. The orga­ni­za­tion breeds and has rela­tion­ships with breed­ers of Labrador Retriev­ers, Gold­en Retriev­ers, Stan­dard Poo­dles, and some Ger­man Shep­herds. “By care­ful­ly main­tain­ing a spe­cif­ic pedi­gree, we increase our suc­cess of grad­u­at­ing high­ly qual­i­fied dogs that can tru­ly enhance a person’s life,” said Sarah Clapp, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of Guide Dogs of the Desert. “It was won­der­ful to see how these pup­pies are cared for and trained in a very spe­cif­ic way that has a high suc­cess rate,” said Auen. “We are look­ing for­ward to com­ing back to watch our Katie and Sandy grad­u­ate with their own­ers and see them off to a life of ser­vice that only these spe­cial­ly-trained dogs can pro­vide. It’s all very heart­warm­ing, and we are hap­py to be a part of this process.” Guide Dogs of the Desert is locat­ed at 60735 Dil­lon Road, White­wa­ter. For more infor­ma­tion vis­it guidedogsofthedesert.org or call (760)...
read more

Coachella Valley Horse Rescue receives relief for summer camp

Coachel­la Val­ley Horse Res­cue was thrilled when two air con­di­tion­ing units were donat­ed to the non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion by Tar­kett, based in Solon, Ohio. The AC units were installed in the ranch’s club­house, where the non­prof­it teach­es kids 7–18 years-old equine edu­ca­tion dur­ing sum­mer camp. How­ev­er, after the AC units were installed, orga­ni­za­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tives – which spend all year res­cu­ing, reha­bil­i­tat­ing and find­ing lov­ing homes for neglect­ed and abused hors­es – were faced with the real­i­ty that they need­ed to upgrade the facil­i­ty in order to effi­cient­ly cool the club­house, even with the new AC units. The orga­ni­za­tion appealed to its sup­port­ers, who con­tact­ed the Auen Foun­da­tion. “We nev­er want to be a res­cue facil­i­ty that needs to be res­cued,” said David DiMeno, Pres­i­dent of Coachel­la Val­ley Horse Res­cue and Coachel­la Val­ley Mount­ed Rangers. “The Auen Foun­da­tion helped make this pos­si­ble. Now we can start sum­mer camp with a cool club­house and then use it all year long as we con­tin­ue to edu­cate the com­mu­ni­ty.” The Auen Foun­da­tion pro­vid­ed a grant to insu­late a por­tion of the club­house, add an inte­ri­or wall, install a slid­ing glass door, drop a por­tion of the ceil­ing and redo light­ing with­in the low­er ceil­ing. All of the upgrades – to increase the facility’s max­i­mum cool­ing poten­tial – were man­aged by Supe­ri­or Heat­ing and Air Con­di­tion­ing. “Often, projects are best accom­plished through a part­ner­ship,” said Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer for the Auen Foun­da­tion. “Coachel­la Val­ley Horse Res­cue found that an air con­di­tion­er dona­tion was not enough. They dis­cov­ered they also need­ed addi­tion­al upgrades in order for the AC units to run most effi­cient­ly. We are hap­py we could help this orga­ni­za­tion that helps many ani­mals and peo­ple in a num­ber of ways.” The pri­ma­ry mis­sion of Coachel­la Val­ley Horse Res­cue is to res­cue and care for abused and neglect­ed hors­es and find them safe homes. In addi­tion, the orga­ni­za­tion part­ners with oth­er non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions through­out the Coachel­la Val­ley to edu­cate chil­dren and adults about ani­mal cru­el­ty and equine edu­ca­tion. Begin­ning June 12, Coachel­la Val­ley Horse Res­cue is offer­ing three 3-day sum­mer camp ses­sions. Campers learn to ride and care for hors­es dai­ly from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. at the organization’s 8-acre facil­i­ty in Indio. And, now, class­room time will be espe­cial­ly cool – thanks to the grant from the Auen Foun­da­tion. For more infor­ma­tion about Coachel­la Val­ley Horse Res­cue or the sum­mer camp call 760–808-6279...
read more

Foundation continues support of AAP food voucher program

AAP — Food Samar­i­tans (AAP) announced today that the Auen Foun­da­tion recent­ly award­ed a $25,000 grant to the orga­ni­za­tion to sup­port its food vouch­er pro­gram for low-income Coachel­la Val­ley res­i­dents who suf­fer from HIV/AIDS and oth­er chron­ic ill­ness­es. This is the 18th con­sec­u­tive year that the Auen Foun­da­tion has sup­port­ed this pro­gram.“We are impressed by the AAP – Food Samar­i­tans recent expan­sion of its mis­sion,” said Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer for the Auen Foun­da­tion. “For more than 26 years, this orga­ni­za­tion has offered nutri­tion­al sup­port to Coachel­la Val­ley res­i­dents that need it the most. Orig­i­nal­ly, AAP was focused on serv­ing peo­ple liv­ing with HIV/AIDS, but they recent­ly expand­ed their mis­sion to include peo­ple liv­ing with oth­er chron­ic ill­ness­es. We applaud this expan­sion and out­reach to some of our community’s most vul­ner­a­ble res­i­dents.”AAP – Food Samar­i­tans was found­ed in 1991 to help the most at-risk mem­bers of the Greater Palm Springs com­mu­ni­ty – peo­ple who are low-income and com­pro­mised by HIV/AIDS. It recent­ly expand­ed its ser­vices to include peo­ple suf­fer­ing from can­cer, MS, heart or liv­er dis­ease, and oth­er chron­ic ill­ness­es. Its ongo­ing mis­sion is to ensure that all AAP clients can con­tin­ue to live their lives with dig­ni­ty and self-respect.“I’m pleased that AAP – Food Samar­i­tans has had such a ben­e­fi­cial and long-stand­ing rela­tion­ship with the Auen Foun­da­tion,” said Mark Anton, CEO and Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of AAP. “Their ongo­ing sup­port of AAP has played a vital role in ensur­ing that we con­tin­ue to ful­fill our mis­sion of pro­vid­ing month­ly nutri­tion­al sup­port to low income Coachel­la Val­ley res­i­dents who live with chron­ic ill­ness. AAP does not receive fed­er­al or state finan­cial assis­tance, so gen­er­ous pri­vate dona­tions like this allow us to con­tin­ue to sup­port the peo­ple who need...
read more