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3 posts from June 2012


La Luz Receives Impact100 Sonoma $100, 000 Grant!


On Saturday, July 23, La Luz received a milestone endorsement from the Sonoma community.  We were awarded the annual $100,000 grant from Impact100 Sonoma, a three year old “giving circle” comprised of nearly 200 Valley women who each contribute $1,000, then visit and meticulously vet each applicant before awarding the grant.

This year La Luz’s grant proposal was called Fortaleciendo las Familias y Nuestra Comunidad–Strengthening Families and our Community, and was in the Social Outreach category of applications.  The grant was to expand our Family Resource Center to meet the growing demand for programs and services, and to create a professional office environment to provide privacy, dignity and respect for our clients.

In their assessment of La Luz, the Social Outreach Committee found, “ La Luz is a well managed center for dozens of bi-lingual social outreach services for our underserved Hispanic community. For many of the services La Luz provides, it is the ONLY bi- lingual support services provider in Sonoma Valley. It is critical to the social and economic progress of our Hispanic and immigrant community. “

Over the past 5 years, La Luz has experienced a 400% increase in the number of walk-in inquiries each month.  In 2007, La Luz responded to 200 walk-in inquiries per month. Today we respond to over 800 walk-ins per month. Despite this significant increase and due to the reduction in available funding, we have been forced to reduce our staffing at a time when we should be building capacity to respond to our community’s growing needs.

Yvonne Hall, La Luz’s Executive Director, says the Impact grant “will allow us to:

1) Expand and improve our ability to meet the growing demand for our programs and services. We will achieve this by hiring an additional part-time Family Advocate.

2) Increase access to mental health counseling and emotional support for low-income residents of our community. We will accomplish this by doubling the hours of our bilingual licensed MFT from 6 hours per week to 12 hours per week. This will position La Luz to build on the initial success of our mental health program, which was piloted last fiscal year with funding from the California Endowment. The program will provide individual, couples, and family counseling two days per week and a 12-week support group program for men, women, and parents. Child care will be provided on site.

3) Create a professional office environment that provides privacy, dignity, and respect for our clients. Currently, La Luz's reception, intake, and waiting areas share one cramped 13' x 13' space. Further, at any given time there could be 5-10 individuals who must wait outside until we are able to see them due to the fact that we do not have a designated waiting room. We will accomplish our goal by increasing our footprint by 500 square feet, and reconfiguring our existing space to allow for private offices for our Family Advocates, a private waiting room for our clients, and a private intake area. Lastly, we will enhance our entranceway making it easier for those who are disabled or the many that arrive with a child in a stroller to easily and safely enter and exit the building.

“A door has been opened for so many people with this grant,” said Claudia Mendoza-Carruth, La Luz board president. “We have hope. We have a great sense of pride in our community that we have so many generous people who gave their money and their time to help us.”

La Luz Board Chair Claudia Mendoza-Carruth Named to Index-Tribune Editorial Board

The Sonoma Index-Tribune has announced formation of an editorial board, composed of members of the Sonoma Valley community, along with staff members of the newspaper and its ownership team.

The purpose of the board will be to expand the reach of the editorial staff by providing a variety of community perspectives with a greater diversity of ideas and expertise. Board members will serve in an advisory capacity to help generate content ideas, provide occasional opinion pieces, offer the benefits of their professional expertise and help vet political candidates for potential editorial endorsement.

Board members currently include Index-Tribune publisher emeritus Bill Lynch; Index-Tribune editor and publisher David Bolling; Bill Hooper, COO of Sonoma Media Investments, the parent company of the Index-Tribune; Steve Page, president and general manager of Sonoma Raceway; August Sebastiani, president of The Other Guys wine company; Claudia Mendoza-Carruth, owner of MC(2), a multilingual consulting service and a board president of La Luz; and Bill Hutchinson, an ordained minister and partner in Otter Hutchinson Consulting. Other members may be added in the future.

“We’re delighted to have the participation of these respected and involved community leaders in helping us to expand the vision and reach of the Index-Tribune,” said Bolling. “We’re a community newspaper with 133 years of local history. We want the community to be engaged with us as we chart the next 100 years.”



La Luz and Pets Lifeline Offer Pets Wellness Clinics

La Luz Center and Pets Lifeline recently collaborated to host a Pet Celebration and Wellness Clinic at La Luz Center in Boyes Hot Springs.  The Springs community welcomed the chance to bring their dogs and cats in for special care, and look forward to future clinics at the center.

Over 80 animals were served by the end of the day.  Services provided included: spay/neuter surgery (by appointment) and a drop in wellness clinic where pets were seen for flee and tick problems, heartworm vaccinations, collars and tag registration.

Pets Lifeline (http://www.petslifeline.org) headed by Executive Director Nancy King, has been providing has been providing high quality care, shelter and support to pets in the Sonoma area for over 28 years.  In an effort to further extend their outreach to the Sonoma community they have fostered a new collaboration this year with another non-profit dedicated to animal welfare, known as Compassion Without Borders.   Reps from both organizations were onsite the day of the event, providing help, guidance and assistance to all those attending. 

Compassion Without Borders is a grassroots, non-profit organization that works to bring about humane reform for the animals of Mexico and other under serviced communities through spay and neuter, humane education and outreach, international rescue efforts, and humane euthanasia programs, founded by veterinarian Dr. Christi Camblor and Juan Ramon Camblor. 

Dr. Christi Camblor, is a bilingual California native who has been working in animal protection in the US, Puerto Rico, on Native American Reservations, and in Mexico for more than 15 years.  Christi is a passionate advocate for all animals who also works as the director for shelter medicine at the Sonoma Humane Society.  Juan Ramon Camblor, a bilingual native of Mexico City, is a graphic designer by trade but has been working as an advocate for the animals and environment in Mexico for over a decade.  Juan has travelled extensively throughout Mexico and worked on the ground to bring about humane reform throughout the republic.  You can learn more about CWB at their website: http://cwob.org/index.html

There will be another clinic held at La Luz in July, the date to be announced. For the exact date call Michele Alba at La Luz, 938-5131 extension 105, or Pet’s Lifeline 996-4577.

The mission of La Luz Center is to empower our community through education, leadership and self-advocacy.