The SAM Initiative is group of philanthropically-minded and energetic women in Los Angeles.

MD Anderson, Houston, Texas

They treated my husband and are a leading cancer research hospital.

 Saint Paul City School (a nonprofit charter school)

This small charter school serves children from families that are all at or below poverty level; many of the students are children classified as "at risk", trauma, homeless, ESL, and with various learning disabilities.  The educators and teachers who love these kids so much, they have great patience, heart, empathy and teaching skills.  With a slim budget, the school manages to continuously train the teachers on new techniques, tailor curriculum for each child, ensure each eligible child meets regularly with social services and ESL providers, looking out not just for the student, but their families as well. They work hard to be a full "wrap around"school for the underserved community.


PRESENT NOW supports children living in transitional domestic violence shelters throughout the state of CA.  Currently the organization supports 537 children living in 34 shelter locations. Through its Presents Program it gifts children on Valentine's Day, Backpacks in August on their birthdays.  The mission of the non-profit is to bring joy to the children in crisis and help alleviate the stress of the mothers. One gift at a time. 

The Young Shakespearneans

The Young Shakespeareans is a program for 4th & 5th graders in South Central Los Angeles. It's designed to empower the students, enhance their self-esteem, and develop fundamental life skills through the challenge of understanding, articulating, and performing Shakespearean text in high quality theatrical productions.

Grief Haven

This organization began with one mother, Susan Whitmore, who lost her only child to cancer. Devastated, she used her story to reach out to other parents who shared her tragic experience. These families learned to grieve together, because only among other people who’d shared the experience could the agony be  really understood. Now, Susan has done research on the grieving brain and she brings her expertise not only to Grief Haven participants — which now include sibling loss and spousal loss groups.

No Limits

These are the most dedicated, hardworking people who so passionately care about the well-being of deaf children.  A small amount goes a very long way in impacting the lives of these kids.


Beauty Bus Foundation

Beauty Bus grew and learned from our experience as a SAM nominee.  This year, we served our 15,000th client through free beauty services to seriously ill patients and their families....and counting!!

Richstone Family Center

Richstone is a wonderful organization that treats and prevents child abuse.  It truly does MEND broken hearts. 

The Rape Foundation (Rape Treatment Center and Stuart House)

The Rape Treatment Center and Stuart House, affilitate of SM-UCLA Medical Center, provides crisis counseling, state of the art medical exams, a multi-disciplinary team investigating and protecting against child sexual abuse, and education in local middle and high school schools.

Piece By Piece
Sophie Alpert

Piece by Piece is a growing social enterprise fostering community building, training and job development opportunity among residents of Skid Row and South Los Angeles through its innovate mosaic arts program.  Mosaics are created out of recycled materials and are transformed into beautiful pieces of art providing hope for a new cycle of life. Many of the formerly homeless participants are in low income and supportive housing, but stability requires more than just a roof over one’s head. It is having a sense of purpose and a connection to others. Piece by Piece supports adults, including seniors and veterans, facing challenges from mental health, physical disabilities, and substance abuse.

Women Against Gun Violence
Debbie Warfel

They work to enact legislation to prevent gun violence.

The Council of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles

The Library Council was created out of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles 25 years ago to serve as ambassadors and fundraisers for the Los Angeles Public Library - the Central Library and all 72 branch libraries. During that time our membership has increased tenfold to 419 members currently and we have raised over $26 million for the LA Public Library. The Council helps to fund critical programs for children and youth that promote literacy skills, student success and technology access in communities across the grater Los Angeles area. I have been a member of the Library Council for 7 years and currently serve as its President.

Beit T’Shuvah
Addiction recovery with spiritual component

Ready to Succeed
Supports former foster youth through college years.

Beauty Bus
Beauty Bus is there to make sick patients feel beautiful for just a day. That smile will make their day so special. The caretakers get a beauty day as well. Just a break for all the cancer days.