The SAM Initiative, which represents a group of Westside individuals who pool their financial resources and experiences to fund and support programs that promote social change, announced at its annual awards dinner that Students for Students, Kids In The Spotlight, Safe Place for Youth, Grameen America and Homeboy Recycling will be the recipients of this year’s grants totaling $225,000.
These organizations address many of the critical issues facing the greater Los Angeles community: homelessness, the everyday struggles of foster youth, environmental sustainability and creating economic opportunities for underserved populations.
Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Homelessness Policy Director, Alisa Orduna, said, “Hearing the inspiring stories of hope and seeing everyday Angelenos give up their time and donations to helping our nonprofit organizations on the frontline was very uplifting and a real boost to the spirit of what we do.”
SAM Initiative Founder Mindy Freedman said, “The awards dinner is an inspiring celebration that acknowledges the extraordinary endeavors of each organization and the efforts of our members to identify and respond to the needs in our community.”
Louis Tse, Students for Students co-founder and executive director, said, “Because of The SAM Initiative, we will be able to house students experiencing homelessness and renovate our space to create the atmosphere of a home.”
Tige Charity, the founder and executive director of Kids in the Spotlight said, “It’s so easy to run from the enormous issues surrounding foster care, but The SAM Initiative got in the ring with us and together, we are impacting the lives of foster youth through the art of filmmaking.”