I’m pleased to report that the Laemmle Charitable Foundation contributed $133,000 to local non-profit organizations in 2014. This represents a 10% increase over 2013 giving.
Our largest gift was made to the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. With $10,000, the Foundation became the first sponsor of the organization’s Operation Firefly program. This program runs from November through February, setting up bike light distribution points throughout LA County. Free light sets are distributed to riders who are caught out at night without this vital safety equipment. Since many people are riding out of economic necessity, they are unable to afford lights, or can not afford to replace stolen lights. This program helps make our streets safer for the most vulnerable road users.
We continue to support a number of local environmental groups that are helping to make Los Angeles more sustainable. Included here are organizations such as Friends of the Los Angeles River, Heal the Bay, Tree People and The Trust for Public Land – Parks for People LA.
Food security is an issue in Los Angeles. So we support traditional food banks like SOVA. But we also support innovation organizations like Food Forward that provide fresh fruit and product to food pantries by gleaning fruit from wholesalers, farmer’s markets, and even by picking fruit from backyard trees.
Homelessness is also one of those intractable problems for our community. So we make it a point to support a number of organizations working on short-term and long-term solutions for this problem. These include OPCC, Chrysalis, Union Station Homeless Services and LA Family Housing, among others.
While we tend to develop long-standing relationships with the organizations we support. Some organizations have been supported by the Foundation since our inception in 2000. But we also like to find new groups to support. This year, these include Valley Community Healthcare, Ascencia, and The Maple Counseling Center.
Los Angeles is a great place to live. But it can be better, healthier, more sustainable, and more just. We feel that these organizations are working hard everyday to address the problems that face our community. We are proud to be able to support them with our grants and we invite you to join us and make a year-end, tax deductible contribution.