April 2020
Please enjoy this unique
Leaders in the Field
where we share examples of
resilience and innovation!
People’s lives are changing because of the COVID-19 pandemic and not everyone is easily adjusting. Farrell Hirsch, CEO at The Muckenthaler Cultural Center and his team have found a way to help!

Farrell leads a team including artists like Marsha Judd who came up with the idea to give away hundreds of curated art projects every week during the Stay at Home emergency order. It costs the center about $500 per week to raise enough funds to purchase the kits. The goal is to help parents keep their children's minds engaged.

In order to make sure these kits are as safe as possible, the Muck team wears gloves and assembles the kits days in advance so the virus can’t survive on any of the projects’ surfaces.

Farrell is a graduate of our 2019 Executive Learning Group and frequent attendee of Fieldston4U .

Listen here to learn more about the great work they are doing.
With the unpredictable and ever-changing events of COVID-19, Margaret Bayston , CEO/Executive Director of Laura’s House and her team were able to quickly transition and continue to meet the needs of their community through web-based education and outreach. The Laura’s House prevention education department spends a bulk of their time on middle school, high school, and college campuses across the county educating on healthy relationships, safety planning, and how to access crucial resources such as therapy, legal advocacy, or shelter for their adult population. There were so many unknowns that came with the Safe at Home orders, including the potential for victims to now be isolated with their abuser.

The LA Times highlighted their quick response; click here for the complete article.

Margaret is one of our Executive Coaches and many of her staff have participated in the Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group. Amanda Hearne is a current participant in the 2020 Nonprofit Learning Group.
Our very own Second Harvest Food Bank was spotlighted with food banks across the country on CBS Sunday Morning. Thank you for the outstanding work being done during this crisis!

Please click here to see the complete broadcast.
Kudos to Gina Scott , Executive Director of HomeAid Orange County who teamed up with their partners in the building industry here in Orange County, as did their fellow HomeAid chapters across the United States, to collect donations of PPE materials. 

In Orange County, generous builder partners donated over 1,000 masks; all of which have been distributed to local healthcare workers/hospitals at Kaiser and CHOC.

Gina was in the 2002 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group , was coached in 2014 and is a current participant of our Leadership Reading Group .
Hats off to Antoinette Balta and KellyAnn Romanych at Veterans Legal Institute . Veterans continue to receive free legal care, and the team prevails because of their tireless supporters! Zooming across Orange, Los Angeles, and Arizona, the staff and volunteers of VLI are conferring daily to overcome court and government shut downs. On 3/16, the entire VLI staff and volunteer base went virtual overnight ahead of the Stay at Home order to protect the health and safety of its clients, staff, supporters, and community. Staff and its pro bono network are speaking with opposing counsel, arranging mediations, creating pandemic parenting alternatives, sharing breaking news on benefits to assist with income, adapting in person clinic appointments to telephonic, and more.

Antoinette was in the 2015 Executive Learning Group and KellyAnn was a Coachee in our 2019 Executive Coaching Program and is currently in our Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group .
Great work is being done by Gayle Knight, Founder and CEO of H.O.P.E. Together with her team they have nearly doubled the number of people they serve through H.O.P.E.'s One-Stop Safety Net program receiving food, diapers and other basic needs. They have modified a number of their procedures. All intake is now being done by telephone. After all necessary information is gathered via phone, the client’s items are packaged and available for pick-up by appointment through their back-alley door.  These procedures have eliminated lines and minimized contact to maintain social distancing protocols. They are currently exploring options to continue to provide free music lessons in a virtual setting.

Gayle was in our 2013 Executive Learning Group .
Excellent job, Amy Lakin , Executive Director of Casa Youth Shelter ! Her team has stepped up in ways previously unimagined, dramatically changing their methods of delivering services so they can continue to provide shelter, food, and counseling to youth who need a safe space. Their staff is working tirelessly to ensure that the shelter remains safe and open 24/7. If a teenager finds themselves in an unsafe living situation, they are there. They have moved their counseling services and parenting classes online, and opened them to the public, for non-residents and their families who may need additional support during this time.

For information on their online services, click here.

Amy participated in the 2018 Executive Learning Group and Christina Garcia participated in the 2018 Nonprofit Learning Group .
Great work, Charitable Ventures , Orange County Grantmakers , Orange County Community Foundation & St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund and THANK YOU Orange County! Because of your generosity, $3.6 million has been committed to collectively tackle the impact of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable communities through the OC Community Resilience Fund . We’re blown away by your outpouring of compassion for our neighbors in need!

Learn more about the fund here.
Stay at Home orders present a big challenge to seniors. Greg Bradbard , President of Hope Through Housing Foundation and his team are stepping up to the challenge providing doorstep delivery of groceries, household necessities, and other resources to homebound residents. 

A complete article can be found here.

Greg is a graduate of our 2000 Executive Learning Group and was coached in 2010.
Creative kudos to Christine Farwell , Philanthropy Manager of Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and her family for sharing their artistic abilities with their neighborhood (and Robin Sinclair's too). Each day they create new artwork in their front window for everyone to enjoy!

Chris was in our 2017 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group .
Finding employment can be hard in crisis mode. Shawna Smith , Executive Director of Hope Builders has partnered with 24HRC , a firm that provides structural restoration services to Orange County businesses. Two Hope Builders’ interns, Irene and Jesus, joined the workforce as essential workers!

Essential worker, Irene, is excited to get to work with her hands. 
Irene came to Hope Builders after seeing the transformation they helped her brother achieve. “Our neighborhood is rough. I figured if they can help him stay out of trouble and get a good job, they can help me too,” Irene recalls. “Growing up we were always building things. I was really excited to learn that at 24HRC I’ll be able to replace wood and rebuild damaged structures. I still can’t believe I was chosen to join their team.”

 “This is a great new start for me.” 
Jesus has worked hard to overcome his past mistakes but couldn’t ever advance beyond minimum-wage jobs. “I just needed a chance,” Jesus shares when asked why he applied to Hope Builders. “I want a better life for my wife and two girls. Before, I never knew how many different trades there are in construction. When I heard about 24HRC, a company that repairs water damage and removes mold, I knew I was up for the challenge. This is a great new start for me.” 

Shawna Smith is a Coach in our Executive Coaching Program and many of her staff have participated in a Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group .
Amidst the global outbreak of Coronavirus, many are staying at home and cabin fever is starting to set in. Mark Lee , CEO of WTLC and his team are stepping up to provide an array of online programming to support their clients, including Notable which brings you free online programming to support your emotional, mental, and relational health- Finding Your Zen , a Mental Health & Self Care Series, and Empowered Parenting which shares experiences about parenthood in an online space.

For a complete list of their online services, click here .

Mark is currently participating in our Executive Learning Group and several of his staff participated in our Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group.
Congratulations to Kristin Byrnes and her staff at Project Access who are finding many ways to support their residents. One example is Resident Services Coordinator, Charles Kim, is going door by door and floor by floor, delivering soup to the 14 floors of a building of over 200 seniors in Torrance. A big part of Kim’s job is translating in this section 8 building filled with low-income seniors, many of whom don’t speak English, as you can imagine during this time when information is essential, can be made even more critical if you need it translated. Watch it on Spectrum News here.

In addition, Kristin was also featured with their partner, MFRG-Icon Construction on the Business Chalkboard Podcast where she shares how they are responding to the COVID-19 crisis in the low-income housing community. Listen here.

Kristin participated in the 2006 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group in addition to many of her staff.
Being a past victim of homelessness and now an advocate for the homeless, this pandemic has hit home for Je’net Kreitner , CEO/Founder of Grandma's House of Hope . She has spent sleepless nights, countless hours, and her own resources to ensure that every staff member has been safe and taken care of, mentally. She has ensured that all participants in her shelters were given the proper care, communication, and materials needed to keep them safe. As a result, no COVID-19 cases have been reported from her programs. She has been featured in The Fem Word and Hearts Unleashed where she highlights the accomplishments of her team!

Je'net was in the 2014 Executive Learning Group and was a 2014 Clare Rose Sabb atical recipient.
Not all heroes wear capes...but they do wear masks! Thank you to Ria Berger and her staff at Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County who continue to provide specialty service dental care to children of special needs, or patients requiring general anesthesia, regardless of their ability to pay!

Ria was a participant in the 2015 Executive Learning Group , Kim Banco participated in the 2017 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group and Ligia Hallstrom is a current member of the Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group.
Last, but not least, Robin Sinclair, our Executive Director, participated in a Facebook Live: Meet & Greet with Victoria Torres with OC Nonprofits Staying Connected . Robin shared how Fieldstone Leadership Network is responding to the needs of our Network during this difficult time.

Click here to view the conversation.

Leaders in the Field  is a monthly communication highlighting Fieldstone Leadership Network members and their
achievements in the community.

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