Women Who Make a Difference in our Community Everyday

Photo: Alice Donovan Rouse (CC by 2.0)

Have you celebrated the women in your life recently? Now is the perfect time, March is Women’s History Month. Along with the leading ladies who played major roles in shaping our history, let’s cheer on our mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends, co-workers and bosses, that do amazing things everyday in shaping our lives. 

Some of the women in our community are making history in their respective fields and non-profit organizations. Here are some amazing women who are making their community a better place everyday.  Get inspired and make a difference by getting involved.

Melissa Nordquist and Claire Wineland

Melissa-NordquistClaire WinelandThis mother daughter duo founded Claire’s Place Foundation together in 2011 with the mission to provide emotional and financial support to families of young adults or children diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Inspired by their own experience, Melissa and Claire (who has been living with CF her entire life) have set out to improve the quality of life of other families affected by CF. Through countless creative fundraisers, their heroic efforts have made an impact on many CF families and have raised awareness for CF. As a budding celebrity, Claire has even become a champion for living your best life as an inspirational speaker. Find out more about Claire’s Place Foundation and how you can also make a difference.

Rande Levine

Rande LevineRande Levine is the Founder and President of Karma Rescue, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving animals by finding them forever homes and resources. For more than a decade, Karma Rescue has initiated award-winning programs that include education of pet care through spay/neuter services, volunteer dogs programs that help kids learn how to read, and Project Coco, a fund that provides food for homeless dog owners. By showing and teaching compassion to one animal and to one person at a time, Rande Levine and Karma Rescue are making their community more humane every day. Can you make a difference by rescuing a pet in your community?

Janeen Holmes

janeen-holmes-my-stuff-bags-200x300Janeen Holmes Is the President and CEO of My Stuff Bags Foundation. This non-profit organization provides belongings to children who have been rescued from abuse, neglect and abandonment across the United States. A duffle bag filled with necessities such as toys, toiletries, school supplies, clothing and a blanket, gives them something to call their own and a sense of worth, as their young lives endure the transitions of living in shelters or foster care. With over 300,000 children entering into the national foster care system every year with little of their own, My Stuff Bags aims to give each and every child something to hold on to during their difficult time. Through this organization, Janeen Holmes believes each bag is message to a child in need, telling them that someone somewhere cares about them. Make a difference in your community too by donating to My Stuff Bags and help a child in crisis know he/she is loved.

Menna Eshete

Menna EsheteMenna Eshete leads the fight to end hunger in her community as the Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator at Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. Besides raising awareness for the local needs in her community, Menna Eshete also works with local businesses, and organizations to convey the important stories of the 336,000 people experiencing hunger in Orange County. Second Harvest Food Bank provides food for 200,000 hungry people each month and distributed 20.1 million meals last year. Menna Eshete has worked closely with NorthStar Moving on our Let’s Send Hunger Packing Food Drive for the last 4 years. Since it’s inception together we have raised 27,000 pounds of food for children in Southern California. With just $1 you can provide up to 3 meals for families, children and seniors in need. Find out how you can also make a difference in your community by volunteering or donating to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Araceli Martinez

Araceli MartinezAs Food Drive Coordinator for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, Araceli Martinez is also making history in your community in the fight against hunger. With one in seven people in Los Angeles suffering from food insecurity, not knowing where their next meal will come from, the LA Food Bank is on a mission to create events, campaigns and partnerships and mobilize much needed resources for our LA community. Along with physical sustenance, this organization is also giving our community hope. Araceli Martinez also worked closely with NorthStar Moving through our Let’s Send Hunger Packing Food Drive in 2016  to raise a total of 7,132 pounds of food and adding to a total of 27,00 pounds since the inception of the annual food drive. According to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank $1 can make 4 meals for children in need. You can also make a difference by volunteering alongside women like Araceli Martinez at the LA Food Bank. You can also make your donation or organize your own food drive in your community.

Georgie Smith

Georgie_SmithGeorgie Smith’s goal is to change the lives of former foster youth by empowering them a sense of home. Her non-profit organization, A Sense of Home is based in Los Angeles and is focuses on creating a new beginning for foster youth who have aged out of the foster care system. Instead of falling into the patterns that most at risk youths face, homelessness, crime, jail, a simple act of kindness can get them started on a different track. Bringing the community together to donate unwanted household items, these youths start their new story with the love shown by their community. In just 2.5 years ASOH has created 170 homes changing the trajectory of 215 young lives.

Georgie Smith is dedicated to building healthier more loving communities from the ground up. Want to help youths in your community? Follow ASOH movement on facebook and find out how you can get involved and make difference too. 

Lu Parker

Lu ParkerAs an Emmy and Genesis Award winning journalist, Lu has worked in the television news business as an anchor and reporter for more than two decades. She is also a former Miss USA, author and animal advocate. Lu has also been honored with two Genesis Awards from the Humane Society United States for her outstanding reporting and creative portrayals of animal protection issues including investigations into Puppy Mills, Elephant Abuse, and Beagle Lab Testing.  You can find Lu anchoring and reporting the news in Los Angeles on KTLA 5.  

In her free time, Lu is an advocate for homeless animals. In 2010, she created Lu Parker Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping homeless animals and at-risk teenagers through community projects and education. She was inspired to create the organization after adopting her own dog named Monkey from the South Los Angeles shelter.

In 2011, NorthStar Moving teamed up with Lu Parker Project to help homeless dogs sleep more comfortably. Over 130 beds were assembled and delivered with the help of local teenagers from the Bresee Foundation, as well as, then Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa.  

For more insight on Lu Parker Project, and to read about Lu’s opinion on living a more happy and successful life, be sure to check out her website at www.luparker.com

These women and countless others make a difference in our community everyday. Why not join them? #BeBoldforChange and make a difference by getting involved.