Friday, December 4, 2009

MHM & Associates Secures $5.2 Million In Grants for Non-Profits

 Members of Upland’s California Community Development  Coalition were all smiles after receiving a $707,500 grant from the California Department of Education to assist in starting Marshall All Star Academy at Marshall Middle School in Pomona. The program now provides students help with math, English and study skills, and teaches parents how to help their children succeed and prepare for college.

(RIVERSIDE Calif.) For nonprofit organizations, there are millions of dollars available in grants from government and corporate sources. They just need to know how to find them.

A Riverside company, M.H.M. & Associates, has helped hundreds of organizations better their communities through grants. Just this year, they secured $5.2 million in grants.

Over its 15 years in business, M.H.M & Associates has a 67 percent success rate in obtaining the grants it applies for, compared with an 11 percent success rate for all grant applications nationwide, and a 13 percent success rate for grant applications originating in California.

“It is our passion to help organizations that are doing all these wonderful and marvelous things to make their communities a better place to live,” said President Luvina Beckley of M.H.M. & Associates. “What they lack most of the time is funds.”

Many of the organizations’ leaders are not familiar with how to pursue grants, Beckley explained. M.H.M. & Associates helps in two ways – by putting on free workshops to review the process of applying for and securing grants, and secondly, by writing quality grant applications for their clients.

Grants are one of three ways non-profit organizations can raise money, Beckley said. The others are through donations and fund-raising.

“A fundraiser may raise enough money to sustain an organization for several months,” Beckley said. “Grants can sustain an organization for several years.”

Recently, M.H.M. & Associates tracked down $3.2 million for a single organization. That money enabled the organization to create after-school and Saturday programs for middle school students, emphasizing healthy and drug-free lifestyle.

The grants M.H.M. & Associates secured will help fund this program through 2013. They are:
•    $3.1 million from the California Department of Education
•    $592,440 for three years from the U.S. Department of Education.

Other recent grants M.H.M. & Associates has helped organizations secure are:

•    $338,711 for Colton Church of the Nazarene, from the California Department of Education to develop a program that provides effective and culturally appropriate instruction to infants through 5-year-old children.

•    $20,000 from Verizon for Libreria del Pueblo to provide language and computer skills training to limited- and non-English speaking Hispanic adults.

These skills help them to receive further training at San Bernardino Valley College, vocational schools and other educational institutions said Father Patricio Guillen, director of Libreria del Pueblo.  They also help Hispanic, limited English-speaking parents help their children with homework.

“We want to help these families move up in society,” Father Guillen said.

•    $707,500 to the Upland-based California Community Development Coalition from the California Department of Education, to help it start Marshall All Star Academy, a program to help students at Marshall Middle School in Pomona Unified School District with math, English and study skills. The program also teaches parents how to work with the school district to help their children succeed, and how to help their children prepare for college.

•    $79,356 to Pasadena Development Corporation from the U.S. Treasury Department, to help it continue its 32-year history of providing loans to small businesses in San Gabriel Valley.

“This grant helps us develop small businesses,” said Keith Rogers, Executive Director of the Pasadena Development Corporation. “It will help us offer better programs and services, and receive more support in the future for our non-profit organization.”

For more information, go online to or call (951) 682-4646.

About M.H.M. & Associates:
M.H.M. & Associates Enterprise, Inc. has served Southern California nonprofits since 1994. The company’s seven primary areas of focus are: agriculture, arts and culture, criminal justice, economic and rural development, health/ and human services, environmental and education.  M.H.M & Associates has generated nearly $30 million in grant funds for its clients.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Culinary Students Bring Smiles To Hospital's Kids

Jeanne Durbin, a.k.a. Mrs. Claus, puts a completed gingerbread house into the Gingerbread Village that will be on display all of December at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.

Jessica Jones, a Culinary Arts student at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire, helps Jessica Smith, 12, who receives outpatient chemotherapy at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, in putting the finishing touches on a gingerbread house on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Jessica Smith’s house is one of 100 created by children at the hospital, now on display in the lobby.

 Bradley Mandapat, a Culinary Arts student at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire helps Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Patient Nicholas Iraheta, 6, decorate a gingerbread house at the hospital, one of 100 created by patients like him and other children who came to the hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Jim Durbin, who as Santa Claus delights patients and other young hospital visitors alike, prepares to place a newly-completed gingerbread house in the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Gingerbread Village.

 (SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Culinary Arts students from The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire lent their artistic flair on Tuesday, Dec. 1 to help seriously ill children at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital create beautiful and unique gingerbread homes.

 “The children are just delighted,” said Eloise Habekost, president of Big Hearts for Little Hearts, a service organization for the children’s hospital and the organizer of this annual event. “They are thrilled to have this distraction from their usual hospital routines.”

In addition, The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire donated 50 of the gingerbread houses created by the children. Big Hearts for Little Hearts, donated another 50, and its member Dottie Rice donated candy to use for decoration.

“She spends the entire year collecting this candy,” said Habekost.

Jessica Smith, 12, spent two months not long ago at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital battling cancer. She still must return frequently for chemotherapy, and at the end of her Dec. 1 treatment, a hospital worker suggested she join other children in the hospital lobby to decorate one of the gingerbread houses.

For two hours, Jessica and her mother Teresa Aripez worked on an elaborate gingerbread house together. Then, to Aripez’s relief, six students from The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire arrived ready to help and encourage Jessica and the other sick children.

“When they got here, my energy and patience were running low,” Aripez noted. “They came in with new ideas and a lot of patience. Jessica loved it.”

Jessica Smith immediately bonded with Culinary Arts student Jessica Jones because of their shared first name. Jessica Jones recalled that the only other time she had ever decorated a gingerbread house was when she was 12, the same age as her new friend is now.

For almost another hour, the two Jessicas continued working on the gingerbread house, which now features several candy trees and two well-decorated gingerbread people.

Meanwhile, fellow Culinary Arts student Bradley Mandapat entertained both Jessicas with jokes, until more children arrived needing his expertise on their gingerbread houses.

Habekost noted that many children are involved in creating these homes. They include patients, children like Jessica who come for outpatient services, and in some cases, children simply visiting the hospital.

“Some of them are in isolation because they have swine flu,” she said. “They work on the gingerbread houses in their rooms, wearing gloves to prevent contamination. Other children come here to receive kidney dialysis, and work on these during their treatment to pass the time.”

The finished houses are on public display in the hospital lobby where they’ll be shown through the middle of January.

Habekost says that people come from all over the Inland Empire just to see what the young patients have come up with.

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire offers Bachelor of Science degree programs in Game Art & Design, Graphic Design, Web Design & Interactive Media, Interior Design, Fashion & Retail Management, Culinary Management and Media Arts & Animation. It offers associate’s degree programs in Graphic Design, Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program in Fashion Design.

Each program is offered on a year-round basis, allowing students to work uninterrupted toward their degrees.

It’s not too late to start at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire. Courses begin January 12 and classes are offered in the day, evening and on weekends for new and reentry students.

For more information or a tour of The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire call (909) 915-2100 or go on line to .

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire is one of The Art Institutes ( ), a system of over 40 education institutions located throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts professionals.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

San Gabriel Valley and Pomona Valley Disabled Residents Gain Resources for Independent Living

Services Center for Independent Living serves many disabled adults in the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys. By moving to a larger location, it will be able to offer them more resources.

Dr. Lee Nattress, executive director of Services Center for Independent Living

(CLAREMONT, Calif.) Disabled residents of the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys, including veterans, senior citizens and children, have greater resources to help them live independently, as the Services Center for Independent Living moves to new offices in Claremont.

Services Center for Independent Living invites the public to its grand opening at its new offices Friday, Dec. 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  It is moving to a new, larger suite in the Spring Street Center in Claremont, 107 Spring St.

“Our new location has a community room that will allow us to hold group trainings, meetings, and discussions,” said Dr. Lee Nattress, executive director of the Services Center for Independent Living. “In addition, our staff will have private offices where they can meet with our consumers.”

To attend the grand opening, call Lorraine Mercado at (909) 621-6722.  Disabled users of videophones or teletype phones may call (909) 445-0726.

Services Center for Independent Living consumers also have access to four computer terminals at this new location, instead of a single terminal at the old location. Additionally, the new location has a large laboratory where the organization provides hands-on demonstrations of various tools for living the organization assists the disabled to acquire.

Services Center for Independent Living provides free resources to people with disabilities. Primarily, it provides them with a “safety net,” to make sure they are connected to the programs and services that can help them live productive and independent lives.

“We focus on the needs of the disabled,” Dr. Nattress said. “We, together with each disabled person we serve, determine goals for independence, whatever that means to each individual, and develop a plan to achieve them. We also help families, significant others, and the community to assist the disabled in achieving their goals.”

Services Center for Independent Living offers workshops on a wide variety of disability-related topics for consumers, schools, businesses, and other community organizations.  Topics range from life skills to sensitivity issues; accessible housing to accessible transportation; Social Security eligibility to health care.  

In addition, Services Center for Independent Living maintains a registry of in-home attendant care providers, a list of affordable and handicap-accessible housing, and referrals to other agencies that can help with disabled people’s various needs.

It also assists consumers to obtain wheelchairs, prosthetics, specially programmed computers, and items that make it easier to perform basic tasks like eating and bathing.

Services Center for Independent Living also can help disabled people obtain free cell phones for use in emergencies, It works with another agency that accepts donations of used cell phones, refurbishes them and redistributes them to give to the disabled.

Since the phones do not have service contracts, they can only be used to call 911 for help during an emergency, and 211, which provides referrals to non-emergency public services.

“Calls made to 911 by persons with disabilities achieve the same results as those made to 911 by others.” said Dr. Nattress. “The ability to quickly summon help during an emergency can make the difference between independent living and reliance on others.“

The disabilities Services Center for Independent Living consumers live with are wide-ranging, including deaf, blind, brain injured, amputees, learning disabled, diabetic, obese, paraplegic, auto immune compromised, and recovering from mental illness.

Services Center for Independent Living is a non-profit organization, primarily serving the cities of Arcadia, Azusa, Bradbury, Baldwin Park, Claremont, Covina, Diamond Bar, Duarte, El Monte, Glendora, Hacienda Heights, Industry, La Puente, La Verne, Monrovia, Pomona, Rowland Heights, San Dimas, Sierra Madre, Walnut and West Covina. It is one of 29 resource centers for the disabled in California, including six others in Los Angeles County.

More than half of Service Center for Independent Living’s staff and board of directors are adults with significant disabilities. The 12-member board of directors includes four disabled

young adults (ages 18-35), two of whom are college students and two who are established in careers.

On the nine-member staff, two are deaf, two are recovering from mental illness, one is blind, one is learning disabled and two, while not disabled, are senior citizens. One of the seniors is Dr. Nattress, who has more than 60 years experience in health care management, in both non-profit and educational settings at the national, state and local levels.

Many of the disabled staff members are specially trained to provide peer support. They also carry out Services Center for Independent Living’s advocacy programs, which currently include advocating against cutbacks to the state In Home Support Services program that is crucial to many disabled people’s ability to live independently.

Also, disabled youth who are transitioning from school to employment can work at internships with the Services Center for Independent Living, where they learn skills transferable to other jobs, and where the disabled adults who work there can mentor them.

Services Center for Independent Living is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, established in 1980 to meet the needs of San Gabriel Valley and Pomona Valley disabled residents. Services include training in independent living skills, advocacy, helping to acquire tools to assist with mobility and other basic needs and providing information and referrals.

For more information, call (909) 621-6722.  Disabled users of videophones or teletype phones may call (909) 445-0726.


Flu expected in three waves

You don’t want to sit in a doctor’s office while you are sick! Avoid seasonal flu by getting your flu shot. Children six months to 18 years old, and adults who either work in health care, infant care or essential community services such as police and fire protection can also receive a vaccine for H1N1 (a.k.a. “swine flu). Carl Dameron Photo

(SAN BERNARDINO, CA) Flu season is attacking with a double punch this year.

There is flu. And there is H1N1, also known as “swine flu.”

Together, they’re making lots of people sick enough to warrant medical attention. A few are sick enough to need hospitalization, and because of the H1N1 flu, deaths have been reported in the Inland Empire this year.

Flu outbreaks come in three waves, said Dr. Albert Arteaga, President of LaSalle Medical Associates. Fall and winter waves are usually more severe than spring, because virus strains (including H1N1) can become more aggressive.

But there’s a way to put a stop to it, says Dr. Arteaga. If everyone received a flu shot, he points out, there would be no flu.

“Ideally, everyone should be vaccinated,” Dr. Arteaga said. “But even if half of the population is immunized, there will be significant protection. That half of the population may prevent their neighbors from getting the flu as well. And if 75 percent of the population is immunized, we can stop the flu dead in its tracks.”

Dr. Arteaga urges parents to have their children (and themselves, if they’re eligible) vaccinated against the H1N1 and seasonal flu viruses.

“Children are especially at risk, because they have more opportunities to be exposed to the virus,” he said.

Even though adults may be at somewhat less risk, almost everyone would benefit from a seasonal flu vaccine, Dr. Arteaga said. Those who imply flu vaccines are unnecessary and harmful, he said, are irresponsibly making light of the subject.

“The benefit of flu vaccines has been proven over and over.”

“The danger posed by the flu is real,” he continued. “Most strains of influenza, including H1N1 can cause body aches, coughs, sore throats, fevers above 100 degrees, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. We have sometimes seen more serious consequences, even death with H1N1, but other types of flu can be equally dangerous.”

Seasonal flu vaccines became available mid-October in somewhat limited quantity, with few limitations on who can receive these. On the other hand, the newly developed H1N1 vaccine is currently in very limited quantity, because vaccine manufacturers have not yet been able to grow a large enough culture to provide immunizations to all

Therefore, county public health departments have each made their own recommendations as to who can receive the vaccine.

In San Bernardino County, healthy children 2 through 18 years of age can receive the H1N1 vaccine. Also eligible are those ages 2 through 49 who have a baby 6 months or younger in their household and no medical conditions.

An injectible form of the vaccine is available for health care and essential service providers such as police and firefighters who are ages 49 and younger and healthy. 

The seasonal flu vaccine is available in two forms. The most common is the flu shot, an injected vaccine. A nasal spray, similar to that now offered for H1N1, is available as an alternative for most people ages 49 and younger.

To limit the spread of flu, Dr. Arteaga urges anyone with symptoms to stay home from school and work until they are well, and limit contact with others. They also should contact a health care provider, especially if worried about the symptoms.

Everyone should cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, and avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth, he said. Also, healthy people should to the extent possible, avoid contact with those who have flu symptoms.

“Every time we wash our hands, and take precautions when we cough, there is less flu to go around,” Dr. Arteaga said.

For more information about all types of flu, contact the Center for Disease Control at or by calling 1-800-236-4636, or the California Department of Public Health at or 1-888-865-0564.

The San Bernardino County Public Health Department also can provide information on its toll-free number, 1-800-782-4264, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

According to founder Dr. Arteaga, the primary mission of LaSalle’s clinics is “to offer high quality medical care to the whole family with courtesy and respect.”
The LaSalle medical clinics are at 17577 Arrow Blvd. in Fontana, 1505 West 17th St. and 565 N. Mt. Vernon Ave. in San Bernardino, and 16455 Main St. in Hesperia
For additional information about LaSalle Medical Associates, call (909) 890-0407 or go on line to