by Amelia Anderson
There’s a hustle-bustle around Pattee Colvin and her 501(c)3. Minions of workers are busy “Making It Happen” in the aiding and abetting of Santa’s gift list for the under privileged children of our Sunland-Tujunga community who could use a helping hand. Jackets and shoes plucked from L.A.’s downtown shelves by Santa’s helpers are being wrapped to give to more than 64 local school children who are in need of the necessities of life to support the walk to school in their quest for knowledge.
“Everythings new,” says Pattee, Director of her 501(c)3, Making It Happen. “I want these kids to know they count and to celebrate how special they are in the eyes of the Lord. Many of these kids are struggling without the security of both parents or a home; they couchsurf at relatives, bundle in a car or van, sleep in a temporary shelter facility or huddle in a tent.”
“We’re planning a Family Celebration ‘cause this town has been a big family since our grandfathers pioneered the settlement back in 1913. They built our homes and churches. We’re going to use the activity room of the New Hope Church on South Oro Vista, graciously donated for our use, to provide a hot meal sit-down dinner for these children and their families on December 22 at 6 p.m.”
“And we’re gonna decorate and call it a Christmas celebration, too, ‘cause that’s the culture of how we grew up. The Bible says ‘to give’, and it’s still the number one best selling book in the world. We’re going to surround these kids with love and gifts to protect them from the bullies out there. The loss of jobs and affordable housing along with poor city planning, has brought gentrification and pushed many families and veterans onto the streets. Kids have stiff competition in school. The Internet is worse. Teens are being bullied into suicide.”
Unfortunately, Pattee and the kids have been bullied out of a grant themselves…blatant discrimination against the poor…L.A. City money, entrusted through the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council to fund projects that benefit both individuals and the community itself. This project was the only Christmas event submitted this year. She only requested $2,500 as part of her $12,500 budget to create a Family Holiday Celebration for under-privileged children and to provide equal distribution of shoes and jackets in support of attendance to school and their good health. What project could better benefit the future of our children and the community at the same time. School dropout lowers the ability to find jobs and work; increases theft and crime, early child-bearing and government subsidy; and lowers stability of family life and life expectancy itself.
Besides, it’s Christmas, and what could be more timely than feeding the poor in a church sit-down dinner complete with decorations and gifts? Oops, strike ‘Christmas’ or ‘church’ ‘cause the STNC Outreach Committee is on a witch hunt regarding separation of church and state, taking literally an ancient law intended to keep clergy from governing. So, even though the City of Los Angeles decorates a Christmas tree on its front lawn, Pattee had to change ‘Christmas’ to ‘holiday’ and ‘church’ to ‘activity room.’ “Make sure decorations aren’t ‘religious’, and gifts?? No lotteries.” One board member inquired if “any normal children” would be present.
Pattee complied to questions from Outreach and submitted a handwritten Neighborhood Purpose Grant application, signed by herself, her financial officer, and three pages from the IRS, verifying her 501(c)3 to be current. Director Dana Stengel surmised board members present to be favorable to this project and agreed to agendize it for the upcoming STNC November meeting, which would allow further questions and discussion and the opportunity to take a vote for funding.
But it was not agendized for board member discussion. President Krystee Clark arbitrarily blocked it — outside of committee. And she lied. She told me she called Pattee and Pattee knew nothing about it. “About the $2,500?”, I said. “No, about the whole thing,” she said in a tone of dismissal. Later, when Pattee arrived, she confirmed that Krystee had never called; they never spoke. So our STNC president is fraudulent. This is a serious ethics violation. It’s more than discrimination; it’s called stealing. Not worthy of presidential office.
“It’s OK,” Pattee said. “They didn’t want to give me the money, anyway. I’m used to it. People don’t really want to help the poor. They can’t even acknowledge we exist. I’ll find the money some other way!”
So, here’s our chance to play Santa to Pattee and the kids. Now’s the time to jump on the bandwagon to donate. And it’s all tax-deductible.
Make the check out to:
Making It Happen, Inc.
P.O. Box 4372,
Sunland, CA 91041.
You can also call by cell at (818) 433-2148 or call the office: (818) 398-6232 for IRS info. Email: pattee.colvin @makingithappeninc.org.
And we don’t need the approval of the STNC to say, “Thank you for your generosity!”
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! Amelia and Pattee