Two of our grantors offered H.E.L.P. emergency relief funds during the pandemic, which made it possible for H.E.L.P. to continue to provide programs for seniors and also take on more essential services during this time. 

The McMillen Family Foundation

In recent years H.E.L.P. has had the opportunity to partner with the McMillen Family Foundation in developing a program for seniors who are confronting substance abuse issues. Problems with opioids often start with the use of pain medicine after surgery without follow-up or monitoring, or being erroneously prescribed opioids for chronic pain rather than a less addictive alternative. Likewise, cocktail hour alcohol use can spiral out of control with depression or loneliness experienced after losing longtime friends or spouse.

Just when it was needed most, the McMillen Family Foundation provided an additional generous emergency pandemic relief grant to H.E.L.P. in support of continued staffing of our substance abuse awareness program for seniors and their families. During the pandemic, when most people spent many months isolated in their homes, drug and alcohol use was seen to increase exponentially. The Thelma McMillen Center for Chemical Dependency Treatment was established in 2003 at Torrance Memorial Medical Center with a $5.3 million grant by Karl B. McMillen Jr. in memory of his wife, Thelma McMillen. This gift allowed a significant expansion to Torrance Memorial’s successful chemical dependency program. Dr. Morris Gelbart, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Center, said, “We are in the business of changing lives. Our goal is to treat the whole person, not just the addiction.” Their caring counseling services can help seniors find renewed meaning in their lives and guide them to better choices. Through our McMillen partnership, H.E.L.P. can direct those who need it to substance abuse counseling and additional treatment when needed. We are grateful for this generous grant.

The Ahmanson Foundation

In addition to the generous grant received from the Ahmanson Foundation in 2019 for infrastructure and capital improvements, which also helped fund this issue of Help Is Here, H.E.L.P. also received an additional emergency Covid-19 pandemic grant in 2021 for staffing and office support. This emergency grant came at a crucial time as H.E.L.P. was working on expanding our services to more low-income areas of the South Bay, as well as confronting the growing problem of homelessness among seniors. Although we have a remarkable volunteer base, staff support is needed to oversee our programs and services. This grant enabled H.E.L.P. to retain key staff through the pandemic.

The grant also enabled H.E.L.P. to move ahead on a much-needed update of our Strategic Plan, which is vital in qualifying for major gifts that sustain our work. By re-examining our mission and setting new goals for the future, we were able to re-energize the commitment of our Board of Directors and Advisory Board, as well as our wonderful supporters. We are very fortunate to benefit from the vision of the late Los Angeles financier Howard F. Ahmanson and his wife Dorothy, founders of The Ahmanson Foundation.  Their dedicated extended-family and visionary community members now carry on his work to support organizations that strive to enhance the quality of life of the Los Angeles community

H.E.L.P. Receives Bohannon Bequest

H.E.L.P.  is grateful for the generous bequest from the John and Dorothy Bohannon Trust.  Through their gift, H.E.L.P. will be able to carry out the Bohannon’s intent that seniors will receive the assistance they need in confronting aging issues and benefit from continued learning through H.E.L.P.’s  Bohannon Community Education Program.