The Spirit of a Giving Heart, a Santa Monica and El Segundo-based foundation that provides annual holiday gifts, clothing, and school supplies to children of the Navajo nation, benefits from the generosity of three local chief executive officers (CEOs) who are working to impact the lives of more than 300 disadvantaged school-age children in Arizona.
David Dukesherer, president and CEO of TLT Express, an LAX-based global freight forwarder and logistics company, has joined Mary Ann Powell, general manager and CEO of Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, and Laurel Rosen, president and CEO of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, on the advisory board.
Dukesherer has made a long-term commitment to handle the cost of shipping and logistics for the more than 900 gifts donated annually to the children of Shonto Preparatory Elementary School, in Shonto, Ariz.
“A chance to help Native American children, in need of basic items such as clothes, blankets, and school supplies, is incredibly important to us. Knowing the holiday gifts give them something special to smile about is a bonus,“ said Dukesherer.
Powell and Rosen have been long-term supporters and advisory board members from the Santa Monica business community. Powell and Pacific Park have donated thousands of stuffed animals for the preschool children and siblings of the students who receive the annual gifts.
Every child from kindergarten to fifth grade is invited to make two gift requests, which are fulfilled by local supporters. More than 200 local teachers, students, police officers, and Santa Monica Police Department employees buy gifts earmarked for each Shonto child.
These locally bought gifts are, in many cases, the only gifts the children receive. Every child at Shonto Elementary School is also provided much-needed school supplies.
The Spirit of a Giving Heart is looking for new in-kind or cash donors so they can expand their program to include other schools. The donations are 100 percent tax deductible as the The Spirit of a Giving Heart is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.