|As summertime approaches and we look forward to longer evenings and days filled with sunshine, many nonprofit organizations are feeling the pinch because supplies traditionally run low during the summer months. During the winter holidays, individuals, companies and corporations clamor to give and support those in need. However, the heat brings a dry spell for service organizations. Nonprofits like the Long Beach Rescue Mission and Project Shepherd are helping individuals and families in need of assistance all year long. The turbulent economic landscape has caused distress for all of us, but those who were already struggling are faced with even harsher circumstances.
I am becoming more familiar with the needs of the homeless as a new resident of downtown Long Beach. Walking home from work, I often catch a glimpse of the man in tattered clothes who is looking for a place to rest his head and the woman with the cart who is looking for her next meal. Although I cannot begin to put a toe in their shoes, I see through the lines in their faces and the look in their eyes, and realize they are looking for a way to endure. This is when I can make a choice: Do I carry on as I normally do, or do I lend a hand?
As I look in the mirror, I realize I need to do my part, so I’m kicking off a campaign for all of us to take action. It’s called “Make the Right Move,” and it’s about each of us choosing to help those in need by supporting an organization like the Long Beach Rescue Mission or Project Shepherd during the summer months. I am working on amplifying the message for executives in my area to support important organizations and programs to equip those in need with the resources to not only survive but also thrive. If you are looking for ways to help, the Farmers & Merchants Bank Lakewood office will hold a food drive on Saturday, June 5, to support Project Shepherd, a nonprofit organization that offers emergency assistance for families in desperate need all year long.