As the program director for an agency serving developmentally disabled adults, part of my job was to find volunteer work for my clients in their local community. The Unity Center director and staff always welcomed my clients as volunteers and found meaningful tasks for them to do. My disabled clients felt needed and important, which was not always the case at other nonprofit organizations.
I appreciate that the Unity Center staff see their mission as not just serving their own clients but also making a diverse group of volunteers feel welcome and useful.
First of all I am a volunteer, former staff member, and will always have the Foothill Unity Center in my heart. I first came to them as a single mom on welfare with very little work experience. I meet Betty Mc Williams she interviewed me and put me to work the following week. When i got there people didn't know where i was suppose to work at so the volunteer that usually pulls files didn't show up so that is where they put me. I had no experience and didn't know what the heck i was suppose to do but i keep up with the fast pace distrubution and impressed the volunteer that i worked with. From then on that is where i worked. When my termed ened with the center they found me a program that gave me paid work experience and I could still be able to work there. I completed that program and at the end of term I was walking out to leave to get married and Betty and Joan called me in the office and told me when I got back from getting married I had a job with them. I was so happy i cried. I loved working for the center. I worked at the center as the client services assitant and did all client intakes and aprovals. I updated all client files at the time of updating. I helped find homeless shelter and helped people get into their OWN place to live. I have experiences amazing miracles at the center. I was the staff member that was chosen to open the Pasadena Unity Center along with Aids Service Center at the time. I was honorned that they would trust me with such a huge responsiblilty. Well Unforutnally I had to relocate far away due to unfourtate circumstances with my now ex husband. I still drive over 2 hours just to come volunteer at the center. I owe everthing that I am to the Betty and Joan who cared and nourtured me to the person I am today and the Job skills that i obtained from them to get the position that I have today. With out them I don't know where I would be. They have helped me financally, emotionally and also provided me with services when i was in need. I have also meet the man that I am going to marry today at the center. He came in homeless and hungry, No where to go and I signed him up for services and told him about some shelters to go. He came in every monday wednesday and friday to get food and see me. We lost contact and reconnected now engaged to be married. He also is so very grateful to the center for the hand up not a hand out. They didn't treat him any less cause he was homeless. I owe everything to the center I still and always will consider the center my job! I even have my current job doing fundrasiers for the center and geting dr's to volunteer his services for the back to school event this year. I Love everything about the center and wishes they had more people to help and i know very well that they are UNDERSTAFFED and OVERWHELMED.
As a single parent of 3 young children, Foothill Unity as come to my rescue. By giving me food each month, my children and I are able to eat. When the back to school event is on, my children are able to receive all the items needed for their grades, items I can not afford to get them. During the holidays there is a Thanksgiving and a Christmas giveaway. My family would not be able to eat turkey with the fixings if it were not for the Unity Center. Presents and a tree are not duable during the holiday season. This center gives more than I could ever say, my children and I are very thankful for this center. I have been here in this place for about 4 yrs,times are only getting harder but thanks to the wonderful things the staff and the center do for me, I am able to survive.
Review from Guidestar
After diligent research and fact finding, I chose to make Foothill Unity Center one of two primary organizations I'd support (outside of of my church.) Foothill Unity Center has been in the community for 30 years and I've witnessed first-hand how they run their office, donation center and events. They spend very little on events and marketing and instead put 90%+ into the programs that serve the needy in the San Gabriel Valley. It is a bare-bones operation that makes it's number one priority meeting the needs of the underserved.
My husband and I have volunteered at the Foothill Unity school supply and Christmas gift distributions; it is amazing all the people who are helped so beautifully. Foothill Unity has a wonderful staff of people with great ideas and energy. They have given out so much clothing, food and other necessities and helped many people get back on their feet.
I volunteer with the toy drive and back to school events for the past several years. The look on the kid's faces when they receive toys, school supplies, new clothes is so wonderful. The parents eyes well up with tears of gratitude. It is the most rewarding feeling. The work of all that are involved with the Foothill Unity Center is so commendable. If I ever win the lottery I will be making the largest donation to the center because everything they do is heartfelt. I love them....!!!
I have a large selection of charities that help needy families however Foothill Unity seems to be able to get the absolute most use from what they receive, it's amazing how they can but $500 worth of groceries for ~$50-$60 using coupons, specials, 2 fors, etc. They are an absolute blessing to the neighborhoods they serve. Help them and you help many.
I could have selected a couple of categories as donor, volunteer and member of the public in the community...but donor spoke the most of my relationship with the Foothill Unity Center. The work done by the Foothill Unity Center stands head and shoulders above the rest. Not only do we donate as a family, but the Girl Scout troop I lead annually find ways to give - whether it is coloring the angels for gift requests at Christmas, or donating food or clothing or picking some of those angels off the tree at Christmastime to make some child's holiday brighter. When we give our time, money or donations to Foothill Unity Center there is never a doubt it is getting to the families the most in need. And in showing how well they serve children for Back to School, families at holiday times or providing food all year long - it helps me as a parent and a Girl Scout Leader show how important it is to give back. I also appreciate how generous they are with their time and energy, always interested in a new idea, a new way to help people, in my role on the School Board - our District was fortunate enough to be the recipient of their mobile dental clinic, hundreds of children from the community received much needed dental work and it would not have happened without Joan Whitnack and the staff of Foothill Unity Center. Their willingness to allow a Girl Scout troop come in to their facility and volunteer their time, teaching them about their Mission and day-to-day role in the lives of people most in need and how one person, one Girl Scout Troop can make a huge difference. Thank you to all The Foothill Unity Center for being the gold standard by which I consider other charitable organizations...great work!