Braving oppressive summer heat in his tiny shack at the corner of Elder Creek and Power Inn roads in south Sacramento, Alfred Brown waits for a rush of customers to buy his fireworks. Sales will help send 75 kids with asthma to summer camp at the California FairPlay Asthma Camp at Camp Arroyo in Livermore in August. Under supervision of nurses, kids ages 6-12 will participate in activities usually discouraged - swimming, rock-climbing, nature walks - and will be taught to manage the triggers and symptoms of their disease. Brown started the camp 10 years ago to help his grandson who has severe asthma. "When you have asthma, it's like breathing through a straw. You just can't get 100 percent of the air that you need," Brown said. "People tend to have asthma attacks because of that, so we teach the kids what to do if they feel a symptom coming on."
June 30, 2013
June 23, 2013
Sorting through stacks of books, Lon Lee is reminded of a day in 2007 when he went looking for a good science fiction or fantasy art book at the Rio Linda Public Library. There he found a box of used books and offered his help sorting them for an upcoming book sale. This led to volunteering and now several years later, he has helped to open the Friends of the Library Book Store in a Rio Linda strip mall. Proceeds from the sales are used to support children's and adult programs at the Rio Linda Library. Recently, Lee was recognized with a national award for 349 volunteer hours in 2012 at the Rio Linda Library. "When I was young, we didn't have the Internet," Lee said. "If you wanted to learn about something, or be in a different land or a different time, you would go get a book at the library."
June 16, 2013
In a neighborhood riddled with crime and poverty, Bill Coibion's vision brings hope to fatherless young men. His faith-based organization, Shoulder To Shoulder began mentoring boys in 2007, teaching life skills and character in an effort to break the cycle of generational fatherlessness in Del Paso Heights. In workshops, small group discussions and one-on-one mentoring, the boys are coached from 7th grade through high school, primarily at the Freedom Hall facility located across from Grant Union High School. Before an annual camping trip to Yosemite, Coibion tells 12 boys choices they make today, will decide their destiny. "We ignite hope in the kids and then we challenge our young men to take responsibility for their lives," he said. "Once they do that, we walk through life continuing to coach them and helping to prepare them for life."
June 9, 2013
Carefully maneuvering around equipment in the therapy gym, Bob McAllister wheels a patient back to his room at the Sutter Rehabilitation Institute in Roseville. Once at the room, Bob is happy to sit and share his story of recovery. He tells how in 2009 he developed a rare condition called Churg-Strauss syndrome and how therapy gave him the ability to walk again. Bob spent a week at the Roseville institute but returned many times to surprise the therapists with his progress until one of them suggested he become a volunteer. Now he comes once a week and can often be found cleaning gym equipment or wheeling around a patient, inspiring them with the story of his rehabilitation. McAllister says it's his way of giving back to the therapists who helped him. "They better equipped me to function even if I didn't get any better," he said. "But fortunately, I got better."