For our family of clients, it will come as no surprise that giving is in our DNA here at Leisure Capital. ‘Giving purposefully’ is a key component of our mission statement, which includes assisting our clients achieve their own philanthropic goals, as well as giving our own time, talent, and treasure to help others.
As we do every year, we asked two of our team members to hand pick a charity to receive this year’s annual gifts in honor of the Leisure client family. This year, Sandra Dick chose Camp Fire Angeles Council which has been serving young people and their families in the greater Long Beach area since 1923. Eric Shute chose Working Wardrobes which provides individuals with the resources they need to overcome key barriers to employment.
At LCM, we cherish this annual tradition of sharing our abundance with those in need. If you are searching for an organization (or two!) to support through your own generosity, we hope learning a bit about the great works of our selected charities and why they were chosen will inspire you to ‘give purposefully’ as well—this Thanksgiving and always.
Sandra Dick has a long history with the Camp Fire organization. She began volunteering as a Camp Fire group leader when her children were participating in the programs. “My kids’ first experience at camp was through Camp Fire. Going to sleepover camp at Camp Wintaka gave them a whole new sense of independence and the chance to spread their wings away from Mom and Dad—all in the company of a trusted community.” She saw the same type of growth with other children at Camp Wintaka, as well as the organization’s day camp, Camp Shiwaka, which offers a variety of outdoor activities—archery, fire rings for outdoor cooking, and more—closer to home.
For Sandra, serving as a group leader was just the beginning of her involvement with Camp Fire. When the principal of her children’s elementary school in Lakewood asked if she was interested in sponsoring a local family, including welcoming their two young boys into the group and helping with their camp tuition, she didn’t hesitate. “I was introduced to Kyle and Stewart, two boys who were about 9 and 10 years old. They were living in a motel on Beach Boulevard… I think 6 people were all living in the one room,” she remembers. “Our family quickly befriended them, inviting them into our home for activities like making gingerbread houses during the holidays—things that were ‘normal’ for us, but definitely not for them. The whole experience was wonderful for the two boys and our own family as well.”
Non-profit and volunteer-based, Camp Fire is committed to the classic values of teaching kids outdoor skills and the importance of being part of a community that works together. “We’re fortunate to have such a great, long-standing organization right in our own back yard,” says Sandra. “I chose Camp Fire this year to continue to support their important programs that benefit children throughout our community.”
If you’re interested in making your own donation to Camp Fire, click here to visit the Donate page on their website.
Eric Shute first learned about Working Wardrobes when his mother became a volunteer at the Orange County organization that helps people facing challenges such as substance abuse, domestic violence, incarceration, and homelessness to overcome barriers to unemployment and underemployment. It was the stories his mother brought home that impressed him most. “She would always come back talking about the impact the group was having on people’s lives.”
Every time his mother shared a story about someone walking away with a new sense of confidence, it resonated with Eric. “I remember my first few years in the workforce when I had that one go-to suit that I would wear whenever I needed a mental boost. Sometimes that’s all it took to make me feel rooted and strong.” He also remembers the financial stress of having to buy new work-appropriate clothes. “At Working Wardrobes, they help people who want to help themselves overcome that discomfort and walk into an interview or first day on the job feeling great,” he says. He also appreciates the work of the stylists who provide professional wardrobing to create outfits that are just right. “One of my favorite stories is about an ex-volleyball player who was 6-foot-4 and how the stylist was able to pull together an outfit from their donations rack—from a top and skirt down to the belt and flat shoes—that looked fantastic. She probably couldn’t have done better working with a personal shopper at Nordstrom!”
The whole idea of Working Wardrobes fits with Eric’s desire to support people with challenging backgrounds to build their own success. “It takes an enormous amount of courage to take steps toward a better future, especially if you don’t have the means to support your goals.” By boosting that courage, Working Wardrobes has helped more than 120,000 job seekers overcome barriers to employment.
Eric’s goal over the holidays is to (finally) clean out his closet and donate some gently used suits and accessories to Working Wardrobes. To make your own clothing or financial donation, visit their website here.