Giving roundup: Puppy raisers needed, a grant for Latinx entrepreneurs, win a car and more

·4 min read

Here's a quick look at what's happening with our local nonprofits. Does your organization have news? Email giving@desertsun.com.

Guide Dogs of the Desert seeks volunteer puppy raisers

Puppy raisers will spend 18 months with a black Labrador retriever or standard poodle, each between 8 and 12 weeks old.
Puppy raisers will spend 18 months with a black Labrador retriever or standard poodle, each between 8 and 12 weeks old.

What if volunteer work could be gratifying, meaningful and totally adorable? It's paws-ible with Guide Dogs of the Desert. The Whitewater-based nonprofit is in urgent need of potential foster families for 10 puppies by September 2022.

Becoming a volunteer puppy raiser makes one an integral part of the process that helps people with visual impairments find independence through the use of a guide dog. Puppy raisers will spend 18 months with a smart, playful new friend, either a black Labrador retriever or standard poodle, each between 8 and 12 weeks old.

A puppy raiser helps the dog learn about the world and interacting with humans in a variety of situations. Guide Dogs of the Desert will be there throughout the journey with training sessions, puppy raiser outings, Zoom meetings and constant support.

The Coachella Valley-based Guide Dogs of the Desert is an accredited guide dog school and has been helping visually impaired students find independence and companionship through the use of a Guide Dog for almost 50 years.

Interested in raising a puppy? Contact Guide Dogs of the Desert at (760) 329-6257, e-mail puppyraisers@gddca.org or visit gddca.org to fill out an application.

Support for Inland Empire Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs comes with $2M grant

The Employment Training Panel has awarded $2M through the SEED 2.0 Grant to an Inland Empire-based coalition led by Caravanserai Project that includes Uplift San Bernardino at the Making Hope Happen Foundation and Get in Motion Entrepreneurs.

Mihai Patru
Mihai Patru

The grant supports individuals who face significant employment barriers by providing entrepreneurial training, technical assistance and micro-grants to start or advance small businesses in California with a focus on entrepreneurs with limited English proficiency, regardless of immigration or citizenship status.

This partnership is a timely response to the imperative need to turbo-charge local entrepreneurs and for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, with a particular focus on Latinx individuals in the Inland Empire region of California. The program is expected to conclude by May 2024.

Caravanserai Project CEO Mihai Patru said, "Our objective is to tap into the reservoir of incredible Latinx entrepreneurs in the Inland Empire and invest in them and their businesses. This the only way to prepare the region for a future that fully reflects the diversity and the true needs of its residents".

To learn more, visit caravanseraiproject.org/seed-2.

LifeStream is giving away an electric car

As the exclusive provider of blood products and services for all area hospitals and medical centers, LifeStream deploys its bloodmobiles about 700 times a year for blood drives around the Coachella Valley.
As the exclusive provider of blood products and services for all area hospitals and medical centers, LifeStream deploys its bloodmobiles about 700 times a year for blood drives around the Coachella Valley.

For less than the cost of a tank of gas, one lucky person will win an electric car in November — and support a life-saving cause in the process.

Tickets for LifeStream's third annual Dream Raffle, presented by Blanke Schein Wealth Management, are on sale now through Oct. 31.

This year's grand prize winner may choose between a 2023 Chevy Bolt EUV (electric vehicle) or $20,000 cash. The four other major prizes are a dazzling diamond bracelet valued at $5,000, a Palm Springs stay and play package, a 70-inch Samsung smart TV and sound bar system and a Rancho Mirage Resort package.

A maximum of 3,000 tickets will be sold. Tickets cost $50 each. For every three tickets purchased in a single transaction, buyers get one free.

Tickets may be purchased by calling (909) 386-6929 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, by mail or fax. Visit lstream.org/raffle to download the entry form and check out the complete list of prizes, payment options and official rules.

In addition to Blanke Schein Wealth Management, Dream Raffle sponsors include Jessup Auto Plaza, El Paseo Jewelers, KESQ News Channel 3, The Desert Sun / Local iQ, KOLA 99.9, Sam's Club and Walmart.

Parkinson's Resource Organization names new fund development officer

Palm Desert-based Parkinson's Resource Organization (PRO) announced Aug. 1 that it had recruited T.J. "Joe" Mendelson as fund development officer, bringing a wealth of connections from corporate America and more than 25 years of unique experience to the organization.

T.J. "Joe" Mendelson
T.J. "Joe" Mendelson

A Southern California native, Mendelson grew up in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills and, like many, has enjoyed a second home in the desert for many years.

Prior to the pandemic, he decided to make Palm Desert his full-time home. That's when he met Jo Rosen, PRO's founder, and was drawn in by her mission. With two dear friends living with Parkinson's, PRO's success story inspired him, and he knew he could make a difference in the organization.

While other Parkinson's charities raise money in search of a cure, PRO is focused on serving those who are caring for and living with Parkinson's. Mendelson will create a campaign called "Caring forward ... until there is a cure."

"Our mission is focused on providing the best support and education today to both people with Parkinson's and their partners in care, as these needs are immediate," Mendelson said.

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Puppy raisers needed, a grant for Latinx entrepreneurs, win a car