Profiles in Giving



Who:  Ellen has devoted her entire career, which spans 40 years, to working in the field of Education. Her main emphasis has been teaching, developing programs and advising individuals with disabilities in K-College settings. She proudly boasts that she comes from generations of do-gooders and so chose her career and interests based on this lineage.

Her gifts:  Avid writer, public speaker, researcher, resourceful, out of box thinker and educational program visionary, appreciating others by spearheading events to honor them.  Widely known as generous and kind.

How she uses her gifts to help others:  At Glendale Community College where she has enjoyed a vast career, she has headed up many innovative programs. The most recent being the Food For Thought Pantry.  She is the Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator for this program where she has had the honor to help many students facing food insecurity, and to forge campus and community partnerships with several offices and wonderful organizations such as The Giving Express, Kiwanis, Rotary, Soroptimists, Oakmont League, Zonta, GCC Foundation.

Ellen’s thoughts on giving:  “I was raised by 2 wonderful parents who gave continually of their time and financial backing to those in need.  It was ingrained in me from a young age, “If you can then you must”.  This referred to always taking care of humanity by helping those less fortunate than yourself.  My husband and I have continued this legacy with our children.”




Who:  Gary is a veteran TV camera operator and his career spans over 45 years in Hollywood. He is also the proud father of a wonderful daughter.

His gifts:  Banjo Playing, Generosity, and Humor

How he uses his gifts to help others:  Gary is charitable by nature and has generously donated goods to The Giving Express.  He donated custom T-shirts to our volunteers, frames for Family Portrait Day, as well as, Pack ‘n Play cribs for babies who live at The San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission Family Shelter.

Gary’s thoughts on giving:  “I have over time given money to children in need through various organizations.  I am currently involved with The Giving Express.  I am and will continue to be overwhelmed by this organization.  It is something I would like to continue to do.”




Who:  Cory is a third generation photographer and has been taking photos for over 20 years.  He has 3 kids and focuses all of his free time on his family.  Cory donated his time, talents and equipment to take family portraits of homeless and formerly homeless families at our Family Portrait Day in June.

His gifts:  Photography, Creativity and Connecting with Others (especially kids)

How he uses his gifts to help others:  This is Cory’s first time donating his photography skills to others.  He began to consciously think about volunteering once he became a dad.  He decided to lead by example to embody the values of compassion and generosity for his kids.

Cory’s thoughts on giving:  “I mostly donate things to the Disabled Veterans organization so I never see how the products help others.  My first time donating my time and my skills was with The Giving Express.  It was great seeing people receive the love that has often passed them by.  I look forward to my next experience with The Giving Express.”




Who:  Edan is a senior at Crescenta Valley High School who will be studying computer science and engineering at UC Berkeley next year.  Edan volunteered his time at our Tech Help For Seniors event in March.

His gifts:  Leadership, Public Speaking, Coding, Mentoring

How he uses his gifts to help others:  Last year, he started his own coding class at Rosemont Middle School. His goal was to teach 7th and 8th graders introductory Java concepts so that they could be ready for the AP Computer Science class as freshmen. He spent several months creating a curriculum with PowerPoints and labs and solved several logistical issues such as getting approval from the principal and finding a platform for the students to code on. Edan and a friend then taught the class for an hour every Tuesday for a whole semester.

Edan’s thoughts on giving:  “It was extremely rewarding to see the kids pick up on the coding concepts so quickly and be interested to learn more. I knew the time I put in was worth it because the kids were being inspired to pursue computer science in high school and possibly into their future careers. I wish somebody had told me what coding was at that age, but it was fulfilling to know that I was giving a new group an opportunity to get ahead. The kids were thankful that I had come in to teach them because they had never had a specialized program that prepared them directly for high school classes. They chatted amongst each other excitedly when discussing a lab and smiled from ear to ear when they finally solved it, calling me over to check their work. The experience of teaching also made me interested in education and possibly become a professor later on.”







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