November 30, 2013
I Care: Student gives thanks with typhoon aid

TYPHOON 2.jpg Heaps of clothing, blankets, first-aid supplies and non-perishable food items fill the floor of Zach De Leon's garage. When word got out that the 17-year-old Rio Americano High School student wanted to spend his Thanksgiving break in the Philippines helping victims of Typhoon Haiyan, donations from fellow students and faculty poured in. On a chilly evening last Thursday, De Leon packed only the items he deemed most useful in a disaster, cramming what he could into four large cargo boxes to take to the airport. On Friday, he and his mother flew to Manila. They will spend a week traveling, hoping to visit some of the areas most devastated by the typhoon. De Leon is the first-born child of Filipino immigrants and he says he feels a moral obligation to help people in the Philippines, even though his family wasn't directly affected. "Every Thanksgiving you say grace and you say you're thankful," he says. "I feel like this way, I'm kind of showing it."


November 30, 2013
I Care: Lawyer finds niche after retirement

Sitting with clasped hands and sympathetic eyes, Duane Phillips listens to an elderly client seeking legal advice. Just months after retiring from a 35-year career as a lawyer for the state, Phillips, 66, is staying occupied while putting his knowledge of the law to good use as a volunteer attorney with Senior Legal Hotline, a local nonprofit offering free legal information, advice and referrals to Sacramento County residents 60 and older, regardless of income. Since 2008, Phillips has helped thousands of vulnerable seniors. Many cannot afford to hire an attorney as they struggle with legal issues ranging from estate planning to financial elder abuse. Hearing the terror in some seniors' voices when they call the hotline is heart rending, he says, until he advises them on how to exercise their legal rights. "Often they seem really reassured - which is a good feeling," he says.


Sacramento County residents 60 and older can call the Senior Legal Hotline at:
(916) 551-2140

November 5, 2013
I Care: Giving back after her own triumph

LS ICARE TRIUMPH 2.jpg One smile from Pam Whitehead could lift anyone's spirits as she gently encourages cancer survivors working to rebuild their strength at the Savvy Fitness center in Folsom. Diagnosed in 2000 with uterine cancer, the Sacramento architect realized the need locally for a cancer recovery program on her own personal journey to recapture her health. She began cycling and became involved with the Livestrong Foundation where she was recognized for her community outreach efforts and awarded money, which she used to launch the Triumph Fitness Program in 2005. Through a partnership with Savvy Health Solutions who provide instructors certified specifically to work with cancer survivors, the Triumph Cancer Foundation offers a 12-week program at three area locations at no cost to participants who have completed cancer treatment. Whitehead says that at the beginning of the program, some individuals are so weak from treatment, they can't even lift a bag of groceries. "The whole idea is to help people remember that they can be successful," she says. "We're helping them say good-bye to cancer and giving them the tools to move forward."

For information on the Triumph Fitness program go to: http://triumphfound.org/