February 25, 2014
I Care: Solar power for the needy

Thumbnail image for LS I CARE SOLAR.jpg Jason Burlingame, 24, a United Natural Foods Inc. employee, joins other volunteers to install solar panels with GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit aimed at bringing low-cost renewable energy solutions to families in need. Funded in part through a partnership with the city of Roseville Housing Division, the effort helps families struggling to pay high utility bills. Among those benefiting was the Vallejo-Herrera family, which needs affordable electricity to power medical devices for a 3-year-old daughter, Tamara Herrera, who was born prematurely and suffers from chronic lung disease. "Knowing that we're able to help cut down their cost is really nice," says Burlingame.

For more information go to: http://www.gridalternatives.org/


February 20, 2014
I Care: Giving back, down to her very bones

Sitting snugly under a warm air blanket, Heidi Jamieson shows little to no apprehension about the bone marrow harvest procedure she's about to undergo at Sutter General Hospital early Tuesday morning. The 34-year-old Rocklin mother worries more about her four children at home with their grandmother and whether her 3-month old baby is accepting a bottle. It's because of her love for children that she and her husband Jeff signed up for a national bone marrow registry after their son Jake was diagnosed with leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant. Luckily, one of his siblings was a tissue match and the transplant was successful, but she says it broke her heart to watch other families whose children passed away because they couldn't find a donor match. Now she hopes her donation will help save another. "Going through it with our own child, ... it's been very interesting to be on this end of it," she says. "We feel like it's kind of come full circle."

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February 10, 2014
I Care: Reaching out to those on the streets

20140128_LS_I CARE HOMELESS MINISTRY 164.jpg On a stormy night Saturday, two homeless men huddle under a bridge to stay dry and warm. Woodie Denning and other volunteers from the Abundant Life Ministry's Hope for Homeless, appear like angels, bringing warm soup and hot chocolate. He prays with them and shares his testimony. At age 15, he became homeless and addicted to drugs. He turned his life around in jail 20 years ago when a cellmate told him of God's love. Now he hopes to plant the seed of change in others. Every Saturday, the ministry serves area homeless, bringing them food, clothing, and the message of unconditional love. On Sundays, they send a bus for those who want to go to church. As one of the men reaches out to Denning, he tells him, "Hey, God has a plan for your life man. This isn't it. This isn't it."



For more information, go to: www.alfchurch.org

February 10, 2014
I Care: Volunteer work with a family twist

Fourth grader Isabella Yan comes into the office at Peregrine Elementary School in Davis with a book of poetry. She's on a mission to make copies for her teacher and Mary Lee Fisher shows her how so she can get back to class. A kindergartner walks in protesting injury by another student. Fisher gives her an icepack and consoles her wounded dignity. She quickly recovers and returns to class. The 61-year-old grandma figure not only spurs the confidence of the 35 kids at the project-based learning school, her three hours a day of unpaid office work is a huge relief to teachers and staff. After 34 years as a CalPERS executive, she took an early departure to help out the community school where her daughter works as the administrative director and her two grandsons attend. Fisher said she was looking to add structure to her retirement while spending more time with family and doing something meaningful. "So I'm thinking this fits all the bills," she says.