SAM Initiative Gives to Community

By SARAH SHMERLING | Managing Editor

A local giving circle comprised of women from Pacific Palisades and Westside communities recently completed their fourth giving circle, which founder Mindy Freedman said is its “greatest yet.”

The SAM (which stands for sustainability, accountability and movement) Initiative, formed in 2013, is a group of individuals who pool their financial resources and experience to fund and support programs that promote social change.

Board members
Photos courtesy of SAM Initiative


Alison Hurst, Rachel Stich, Tige Charity, Mindy Freedman, Louis Tse, Mindee Barham and Lorene Chandler

At the group’s award dinner, Students for Students, Kids in the Spotlight, Safe Place for Youth, Grameen America and Homeboy Recycling were named recipients of this year’s grants, which totaled $250,000.

The initiative selected these organizations because they address critical issues facing the greater Los Angeles community, including homelessness, the everyday struggles of foster youth, environmental sustainability and creating economic opportunities for underserved populations.

“Hearing the inspiring stories of hope and seeing everyday Angelenos give up their time and donations to helping our nonprofit organizations on the frontline was very uplifting and a real boost to the spirit of what we do,” Alisa Orduna, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s homelessness policy director, said.

Homeboy Recycling, which is run by Homeboy Industries, will receive a grant of $13,000 to support their electronics recycling program.

“Our grant will help us expand our repair capabilities and support our goal of finding the best and highest use for discarded electronic devices,” said Brian Fox, general manager for Homeboy Recycling. “Our aspiration is to ensure that the world’s resources, both human and natural, are valued, not wasted.”