VetCTAP Prepares Our Military Heroes for Today’s Workplace

San Diego is “America’s Finest City”, and a great military town. However, it often surprises people that San Diego County has one of the highest Veteran unemployment rates in the country.

More than 240,500 veterans reside in San Diego County, making it the third highest population of veterans in the United States…Yet, here and elsewhere, veterans experience significant challenges when they transition from the battlefield to civilian life, especially when it comes to rejoining the workforce.
San Diego Workforce Partnership 2016 (SDWP).

November celebrates Veteran’s Day and corporate Giving Partnerships is pleased to highlight one organization making a difference for our heroes.

Veteran Career Transition Assistance Program (VetCTAP)

VetCTAP grew out of the personal military-to-civilian transition of Sandra Fichter, (US Army Officer) who is a Human Resources professional. As Sandra reviewed resumes from transitioning veterans, she became frustrated – knowing that many qualified individuals would not be selected for jobs because they lacked the knowledge to communicate their strengths and skills through their resumes.

“Job search skills were the only thing veterans were missing,” says Sandra. “They met or exceeded the qualifications, but they needed to know the rules of the game to be able to win.”  So Sandra took action and recruited other HR professionals, who collectively created a popular job search workshop series for members of the military as part of their transition to civilian life.

VetCTAP is a part of JBS Transition Experts, a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation. Sustained by corporate and individual donations, grants, and in-kind contributions, all of the services and materials are provided free to veterans.

Classes are offered in Carlsbad, and Rancho Bernardo, CA, and there’s always a waiting list to attend. VetCTAP has sustained a 90% success rate of graduates obtaining the career of their choice. “We specialize in working with a uniquely underserved population – those who have served 10 or more years in the military. We also encourage spouses to attend who are seeking employment,” said Janis Whitaker, Executive Director.

The innovative and interactive 8-module series focuses on resume development, networking techniques, interviewing skills, and more. Topics assist participants to successfully identify and translate their military skills for application in the civilian job market.

Hundreds of participants complete the rigorous training and obtain meaningful employment so they can comfortably provide for themselves and their families. In November 2017, VetCTAP will celebrate its 50th successful workshop series!

The organization lives up to its motto: “Preparing Our Heroes for Today’s Workplace”.

If you are interested in learning more, VetCTAP offers opportunities to:

•    Share your expertise and help our veterans succeed in their transition to the civilian workforce
•    Network with these men and women, and other professionals
•    Meet qualified job candidates, and promote open positions
•    Be part of a significant change in the lives of those who have served

Hands-on assistance is needed to help with resume development and with mock interviews with service members and spouses. Please contact corporate Giving Partnerships, or Betsy Sheets, Program Manager of VetCTAP for more information: e) betsty@vetcap.org t)  858.831.8667.
For other donation opportunities or ways to get involved, please visit www.vetcap.org.

By |2018-04-25T05:56:32-07:00November 8th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on VetCTAP Prepares Our Military Heroes for Today’s Workplace

San Diego Talent Abounds During the San Diego International Fringe Festival

A young man breathes deep as he does his final check.  His curly hair almost, but not quite, covers his glasses and problem skin.  He can feel the heat of nerves creeping up his spine and staining his face red.  He checks on his actors.  Professional actors and kids from school alike stand nervous in the wings.  They are all so good in the parts he has written.

He signals to the Fringe stage manager provided as part of his grand prize winnings.  He can still remember the day his teacher encouraged him to enter his new play in the Emerging Fringe competition.  Looking out at the audience now, filled with friends, family members, and complete strangers drawn by the social media campaign he designed and launched, he can’t believe that the visions that kept him company at night in bed were finally ready to share.  Every set piece, every prop, every detail exactly as he pictured it, as he made it, ready to share with his waiting audience.    

He takes another deep breath, checks his costume, and steps out onto the stage.

The International Fringe Festival began in Edinburgh in 1947 and has since spread, with more than 200 Festivals occurring around the world. San Diego, still a young Festival organization is the only Fringe to host a bi-national Fringe Festival, with performances in both San Diego and Tijuana.

During the festival, artists from across the United States and around the world participate alongside local talent, in art forms spanning from theatre, buskers/street performers, cabaret, comedy, circus, dance, film, poetry, spoken word, puppetry, music, visual art, design & open to any other type of artsyness.

Key to the operation of San Diego International Fringe Festival is its’ role to support, encourage, and facilitate producers, artists, presenters, venues, and businesses. The festival works to ensure that artists and all participants involved have the best possible experience. For independent artists, San Diego International Fringe Festival is an inspirational environment to showcase their work.

With more than 400 performances in an 11- day timeframe, shows vary from puppet shows, spoken word, singing, dancing, plays, and everything else once can imagine.  Fringe supports performing artists by letting them retain 100% of the ticket sales. This helps to give both local and global artists a platform to express and share their art, support their journey and make their dreams come true.

As part of the appeal to everyone, SDIFF will host a Family Fringe event in City Heights. At this event, performances and activities are geared toward youth and family and is completely free. Arts have become less prominent in school and federally defunded, and SDIFF has a strong commitment that now more than ever, it is important to involve, inspire, and include youth in the arts. Performing art is a valuable tool for youth to learn as it can help them cope and have a creative outlet later on in life.

San Diego International Fringe Festival will take place June 22-July 2, 2017, and will include new venues in Balboa Park in addition to those in the downtown area. Performances are $10 or less to attend. A $5 Fringe Tag is required to attend and can be purchased at the office in Horton Plaza Park.  75% of all performances feature local talent, with the 25% of talent traveling internationally from more than 7 countries to conduct performances.

The Emerging Fringe offers local high school students the opportunity to compete for a grand prize that includes a Fringe supported production during the year in a professional theatre space downtown.  The goal of this event is to empower high school kids to create, develop, and mount an original production of their choosing.  Each year, one high-achieving student whose creative, original production will be shared with the greater San Diego audience by utilizing the space and staffing resources available to the San Diego International Fringe Festival.

San Diego International Fringe Festival is a non-profit project of CONTACT ARTS, in association with the Actors Alliance of San Diego, designed to help provide a platform for artists while also helping the community as a whole. For more information visit http://www.sdfringe.org


By |2017-08-01T14:41:45-07:00June 6th, 2017|Featured NonProfit|Comments Off on San Diego Talent Abounds During the San Diego International Fringe Festival

Send Me On Vacation-Changing Lives for Women with Breast Cancer

You Have Cancer!

Many people believe you either live in love or in fear.

Every breast cancer survivor is initiated with fear once they hear, “You Have Cancer.” Much like a war veteran who returns from battle to discover they are effected by a condition known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), survivors also find PTSD a common condition.  About 82.5% of women have PTSD symptoms after breast cancer diagnosis. Survivors who are fortunate enough to afford mental health therapy, have a greater chance of managing the emotional effects of fighting cancer. Those who do not, often find themselves caught in a downward spiral of depression and fear. Dealing with a traumatic change from health to disease often leaves victims overwhelmed, exhausted and financially devastated.

“In December 2009, I was 39. My world came to a crashing halt went I was told I had breast cancer. In the following year my strength and faith were tested to their limits and my finances were in total ruin. Instead of taking my first trip on a cruise ship that I had been saving for for 10 years, I spent that year and every dime I had saved hoping to see another day.”  – Taneta Blanden

When treatment’s ended, it’s easy to assume one might believe they will be jumping for joy – but joy is a feeling that is too often out of reach. That’s the time, Send Me On Vacation shines a light on the lives of survivors by providing healing vacations to rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit.

“Today I’m in remission. I’m actually going to see my kids graduate and I went on vacation for the first time in my life to Myrtle Beach, SC. It was a dream come true.  There was no way I would’ve been able to take a break like this from cancer, to relax and reflect on my life and the blessings now see coming my way.” – Taneta Blanden

Corporate Giving Partnerships has worked with Send Me On Vacation to develop a strong board, caring volunteers, and create marketing and fundraising strategies. This partnership has been so valuable in achieving our goals, said Cathy Backus, Founder of the organization.  SMOV has sent hundreds of underserved survivors on healing vacations in the past 6 years from the U.S., Canada and Mexico. SMOV is a 501 (c)(3), all volunteer charitable organization. Vacation options include group therapy vacations, freestyle family vacations and end of life vacations. SMOV is a resource focused program that combines donations from the travel and tourism industry with financial contributions to create transformative experience that have the ability to change lives, one vacation at a time!

Corporate Giving Partnerships is a national consulting firm. We engage corporate leadership and employees with the community, using life experience to inspire collaboration, compassion, productivity and a strong culture. We support growth of corporate social responsibility with technology and marketing, providing companies with the tools they need to build strong volunteerism and cause marketing programs. CGP consults with nonprofit organizations such as Send Me On Vacation to facilitate visibility and growth. Our team’s expertise includes donor development and retention, fundraising strategies, board and volunteer development, marketing and communications. Contact us to learn more.

By |2018-04-25T05:56:33-07:00February 9th, 2017|Featured NonProfit|Comments Off on Send Me On Vacation-Changing Lives for Women with Breast Cancer

Meet Casa de Amparo: Preventing Abuse and Neglect for At Risk Children and Foster Youth

Casa de Amparo, supports those affected by and at risk of child abuse and neglect through a range of programs and services that promote healing, growth and healthy relationships.

Corporate Giving Partnerships has had the privilege to place employee volunteers with this impactful San Diego County based organization; providing a wide range of programs to support those affected by these conditions, from prenatal to 25 years of age (and specifically those within the transitional age foster youth population).

Transitional age foster youth are a severely under-served population and without places like Casa de Amparo, most would transition out of foster care ill prepared for life and end up a statistic. The unfortunate reality is that 40% of children affected by child abuse and neglect will experience homelessness, only 50% complete high school or receive a GED and less than 50% are employed by age 24. In addition, 85% of these children experience mental health issues during childhood and into adulthood and have little to no resources for healthcare.

Casa de Amparo strives through both facility and treatment based programs to meet all of the everyday life needs to as many children and young adults as possible. The nonprofit organization is successful because of the help from the community and the countless volunteers and donors that support their efforts.

For foster teens that are pregnant or parenting, it can be difficult to find a stable or permanent placement as their own children are not considered foster children, making home placement a much harder option. To support these youth, Casa de Amparo offers a program called the “young parent network”. This program resides within their residential services program and addresses the needs of the pregnant and parenting youth who are struggling with the emotional, financial and personal demands of being a parent while being a foster child themselves. The goal of the program is to address trauma and increase health, safety, and the well-being of both children and families. Casa de Amparo is very proud to be the only provider of pregnant and parenting care in the San Diego County.

Corporate Giving Partnerships works with companies to identify meaningful volunteerism opportunities with nonprofit organizations such as and including Casa de Amparo. As a result we have seen the impact of what even one afternoon of time can mean to young lives.

Thank you to Cristin Wondergem for her contribution to our featured nonprofit organization of the month. We’re proud to present Casa de Amparo to our readers. To learn more about their programs, click here or watch their video on YouTube.

If are interested in learning more about employee volunteerism, please contact Corporate Giving Partnerships or if you are interested in getting involved and helping to support Casa Kids, please contact Celeste Leichliter at cleichliter@casadeamparo.org or at (760) 566-3553. Perhaps you or your company will consider one of the following:

  • Organize an In-Kind drive
  • Coordinate a Fundraiser
  • Volunteer/Teambuilding
  • One time activity like a sports event, BBQ, Crafts or parties, etc.
  • Host a drop off party:
    • Baby items for Pregnant & Parenting Casa Kids
    • Wine for special events
    • Gift wrapping supplies for holiday drives
By |2018-04-25T05:56:33-07:00January 4th, 2017|Featured NonProfit|Comments Off on Meet Casa de Amparo: Preventing Abuse and Neglect for At Risk Children and Foster Youth

Volunteers Help VE Global Change the Lives of Children at Risk

It’s another scorching December afternoon in Santiago, Chile and the air is thick with laughter and the thump thump of reggaeton music. A team of 20 kids plays a lively game of fútbol while 15 more stand on the sideline, cheering and swaying to the beat.

No bystander would ever know that these children have been removed from their own homes by the Chilean family court system due to abuse and neglect. Thanks to a non-profit organization called Voluntarios de la Esperanza (VE) Global, these kids have a million opportunities to play and a million more reasons to smile.

VE Global fosters the development of children at social risk in Chile by training and empowering volunteers to serve as positive role models, educators and advocates of social justice. VE has successfully integrated 450 full-time volunteers from 35 countries into a network of partner organizations. With an average on-the-ground presence of 15 full-time volunteers, VE provides more than 40,000 hours of volunteer support each year and serves over 200 children daily via after-school activities, homework help, and emotional guidance.

In addition to developing leadership and mentoring skills in their volunteers, VE also contributes programming and support to 14 local partner organizations that include children’s shelters, community centers, and schools in the most vulnerable neighborhoods of Santiago. VE touches the lives of children aged two to 12, adolescents aged 13-20, as well as pregnant and adolescent mothers and their babies.

Not only does VE host a health and wellness league (including regular fútbol matches!), they also offer a literacy program, art festival, and English lessons. These programs empower, educate, and motivate the children of Santiago so that they may become future role models and leaders.

With the support of companies like Corporate Giving Partnerships, VE works to build a global community that ensures equality of opportunity and social justice for all children.

Volunteering with VE is an opportunity to put your beliefs into action, create positive social change, and use your skills to help the children of Santiago sustainably. VE is always looking for qualified volunteers to join their January, May and September volunteer classes.

A special thanks to Isabella Trouw, from VE Global for this post. To learn how you may volunteer or donate to this nonprofit organization, please visit their website or Facebook page. To learn more about Corporate Giving Partnerships, please contact us.

By |2016-12-01T16:41:58-08:00December 1st, 2016|Featured NonProfit|Comments Off on Volunteers Help VE Global Change the Lives of Children at Risk
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