Tips to Avoid Scams on #GivingTuesday

November 27, 2014 - Serving Seniors

Giving Tuesday is a worldwide effort to raise awareness and motivate action for the common good. Whigive tuesle the holidays are often a time to give back, it’s also a time to make sure that your financial and volunteer contributions are wisely donated. Cyber criminals capitalize on the generosity of the public and set up fake charity sites and pocket the donations. Here are some helpful tips to avoid scams and ensure you are giving to a reputable organization on Giving Tuesday.

  • Only give to a charity you know. Be suspicious of email solicitations unless you have previously provided your email address to a charity.
  • Do your research! Be on the lookout for “sound alike” charities and street-corner collectors. There are a variety of online resources that provide free access to comprehensive reports about non-profit organizations. Start with a visit to California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts, Guidestar and Charity Navigator. Plus, go to the organization’s website and really get a good understanding of what the charity does and who benefits from your donation.
  • Do not send money to a P.O. Box. Make sure the organization has an actual street address, where you can go and see the charity in action at anytime. Also, do not send cash and do not wire money.
  • Take precaution when donating online. Be aware of fake charities advertised on social media pages. Beware of phony websites and donate though a website that is secure by looking for “https” not “http.” Also, do not open unsolicited e-mail appeals because they can be an attempt to attain important personal information.
  • Ask for tour of their location. Or even better just show up unannounced. A reputable charity would be delighted to give you a tour on the spot.
  • There should be no hard sell. A charity that can use your money today will welcome it just as much tomorrow.
  • If you think you’ve been scammed, notify the authorities immediately.

San Diego is consistently rated among the most philanthropic cities and we know residents have a kind heart.  Take these tips with you wherever you decide to give this coming Tuesday.  Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

An Attitude of Gratitude

November 26, 2014 - Serving Seniors

With Thanksgiving festivities underway there is an obvious emphasis on gratitude.  Many of us have the tradition of going around the table and giving thanks before digging into our plates of turkey and creamy potatoes.  In that same spirit, we asked our seniors what they’re grateful for at the moment.  Many of our clients are living at or below the poverty level and rely heavily on our center for meals and services yet most maintain an attitude of gratitude for what little they have. Let it be a lesson to us all that no matter our walk of life, there is always something to be thankful for. We are grateful for the seniors who touch our lives every day.

We hope you enjoy Thanksgiving along with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but don’t forget about Giving Tuesday!  #GivingTuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, people from around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. We have so much to be grateful for, now it’s time to give back. When Tuesday rolls around, we’d love for you to join the generosity movement and help us feed seniors in need. Have a wonderful holiday!

Giving Tuesday



Happy Thanksgiving

November 24, 2011 - Paul Downey

Joseph Gavin moved from Chicago to attend San Diego State University. He’s pursuing a master’s degree in Gerontology and is a former West Scholar. Last month he joined SCC as an outreach case manager.

joe gavinIn looking back on my year, I find the source of many pleasant recollections is my eleven months at Senior Community Centers. I’ve engaged with the efforts of the organization on multiple levels.  As a volunteer on a farmer’s market trip, in the home-delivered meals and advocacy programs as a student-intern; and now employed as a part-time outreach case manager, I see the importance of the work that SCC does. Each one of these experiences provide me with a variety of rewards, but none greater than the relationships formed with the seniors and staff alike who give me far more than I return to them. It’s a bountiful year for me.I can think of no better way to express my humble thanks than to participate in the serving of the Thanksgiving meal.

Volunteering on this day allows me to share in the community spirit that is part of the fabric of the organization. This connection to the importance of work done on behalf of others will serve to bring me closer to my family, especially my mother and father. Though we will be separated by many miles on this day, volunteering to serve seniors brings to life the values and principles they worked so hard to instill in me. It will make it feel as though they are right here with me. Each one of us takes away something different from a volunteer experience; for me it is the physical expression of honor and respect to those who aided and guided me, taught and cared for me. Whatever your idea of personal reward for volunteer work may be, I am confident you can find a chance to uncover it here at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Every year our SCC family comes together to serve seniors during the holidays. Former and current board members, staff and the many volunteers throughout San Diego habitually make this part of their holiday tradition. I would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to everyone who helps to make the holidays special for our seniors. To find out how to volunteer or become a Food from the Heart family, click here>>>. Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours. – Paul

Tale of Two Seniors

November 22, 2011 - Paul Downey

The disparities in aging illustrated by Alison St John’s KPBS story, “Disparities Clear At Senior Living Communities In San Diego” are realities not just in San Diego but throughout the United States. As we sit down with our family and friends for Thanksgiving day dinner, I hope you consider the many seniors without support or families. I invite you to join Senior Community Centers in our mission to provide them with nutritional meals by becoming a “Food from the heart” family. Read more about this important program>>>

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