The willingness to help other people, whether they are our neighbors in the community, or people who live in another state or country -- this is part of what makes America great. Varga & Nickel Real Estate Group encourages you to find a place where you can make a difference, and either donate to that organization, or see if you can volunteer there.
American Red Cross: There is almost always a shortage of blood; please consider donating blood. Click here for more information.
National Disaster Search Dog Foundation: This is a pretty amazing organization I ran across a number of years ago; they are based in Santa Paula, CA. Whenever you see a disaster on the news (earthquake, flood, mud slide, building collapse), these are the highly trained FEMA-certified dogs that are sent to find live people, and also sent to foreign countries.
What makes these dogs extra special is that they, too, have been rescued. The dogs are found by SDF at animal shelters all over the U.S. Once in a while, a dog may flunk out of "seeing eye" training, or someone might donate a dog, but most of these dogs were thrown away, usually because their energy levels were too high. SDF trains dogs with a high prey drive (i.e. they go crazy over a bouncing ball) to search areas humans couldn't due to debris fields, and save live humans. SDF pledges that even if a dog flunks out of search dog training, it will never again be sent to an animal shelter, but a "forever" home will be found for the dog. Click here for more information.
ReadingPartners: I am on my second year of volunteering for ReadingPartners at Jackson Elementary School in Altadena. It is such a joy to work with these students (K-3) who are one year below the reading level they need to be at. As you can imagine, if you can't read, you will be slipping behind the other students, as homework becomes more oriented towards reading the material. The person who helps train us as tutors and tests the students is so helpful! If you think you might like to tutor for one hour a week or more, please read about this organization at https://readingpartners.org.
P.E.O.: This is a philanthropic organization I belong to that raises money for womens' scholarships. There are scholarships for students in their senior year of high school, who are getting ready for their first year of college, for graduate degrees, for "schooling interrupted," meaning that you went to college for a few years, maybe got married and had children, and now ten years has passed, and you want to go back to college. P.E.O. also has college loans that are often at a lower rate than the norm. Additionally, P.E.O. has an affiliated womens' college in Nevada, Missouri, called Cottey College. For more information about P.E.O. or to make a donation, click here.
San Marino League: You don't have to live in San Marino to be a member. This non-profit was founded in 1954 when a need was seen to fix-up the Japanese Garden at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. Every week, our very talented women make Ikebana arrangements for the Japanese House in the garden, and we also support the Japanese Garden's endowment fund. Our other philanthropy is the Art Center College of Design, located in Pasadena. Every other year the League holds a fundraiser to support our two philanthropies; the fundraiser is traditionally held in March.
A number of the members of the league act as docents for school children, elementary through high school, primarily for the Japanese Garden. This program runs during the school year. I really enjoy taking the children through the gardens, and hope that it will become a special place for them as they continue to grow.
The San Marino League is an organization of women committed to philanthropic work in the community, as well as furthering their own knowledge of fine arts. Its purpose is exclusively charitable, educational, and all volunteer.
Norm Haley Real Estate
135 W. Foothill Blvd., #4 Monrovia, CA 91016 DRE #00528924
Alex Varga DRE #01918433 Cheryl Nickel DRE #00898599