Helping Hands 2014 ends with a flourish

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Remember this figure, $30,007. That’s thirty thousand, 007 in donated funds!

Such is the new donation record of the annual Helping Hands holiday program for the needy. And the record came down to the final hours of activity, according to coordinator Evette Wedlow-Benjamin.

Needing $1,393 to reach $30,000, two donations in the end proved significant:

The GMEA Union gave $1,100 and Walter J. Loughridge added $300. Together they pushed the season tally over the goal with change to spare.

Remember this figure, $30,007. That’s thirty thousand, 007 in donated funds!

Such is the new donation record of the annual Helping Hands holiday program for the needy. And the record came down to the final hours of activity, according to coordinator Evette Wedlow-Benjamin.

Needing $1,393 to reach $30,000, two donations in the end proved significant:

The GMEA Union gave $1,100 and Walter J. Loughridge added $300. Together they pushed the season tally over the goal with change to spare.

In reviewing the list of all donations this season, it is true that every dollar counted.

The Gardena police donated 80 toys. Previously they made a monetary donation of $3,820. Food donations continued to pour in, according to Janice Quinn of the Human Services department.

Food donors were the South Bay Jeet Kune Do Academy, the Park Family, Michele Baldwin, Delta Kappa Gamma Avalon Gardena Elementary School, Tony Media, and the Gardena Buddhist Church.

Dec. 29

Having already surpassed the season’s initial goal of collection $22,500, the 2014 Helping Hands holiday drive took in $510 for Christmas week, pushing the year’s total to an unofficial $28,607, according to coordinator Evette Wedlow-Benjamin.

“I still believe that we will get that other $1,393 by Dec. 31, 2014,” a hopeful Benjamin said this week.

Top donator for the week was Iwane Wayne Chuman with a gift of $250. A correction to last week’s mention of Sam’s Auto Land’s donation, as it was $250.

The Pocahontas Lodge 211 gave $150 and the Gardena police and its Gardena Police Officers Association donated another $100, adding to last week’s gift for a new total of $3,820.

Gerri Noel of the Rent Mediation Board added $10 to the food drive.

Benjamin said that the Harbor Distributing LLC donated 176 toys this week, and also gave food. This company also adopted a family for the holidays.

The food donors this week, besides Harbor Distributing, were from New Direction Community Church, Tony Medina, Dennis and Julie Schwieterman, Hitco Carbon Composites, First Christian Church, Gardena-Carson Family YMCA, Lucky Inouye, Gardena Elks, Purche Elementary School, and Councilwoman Rachel Johnson.


            HH drive ending Dec. 31

GMEA            $1,100

Walter J. Loughridge                        $300

Official total for season $30,007


Gardena Police Department            80 toys collected and donated


South Bay Jeet Kune Do Academy

The Park Family

Michele Baldwin

Delta Kappa Gamma

Avalon Gardens Elementary School

Tony Media

Gardena Buddhist Church


            Week ending Dec. 29

Iwane Wayne Chuman            $250

Pocahontas Lodge 211            $150

GPD and GPOA            $100

Gerri Noel (Rent Mediation Board)            $10


1.  Harbor Distributing LLC donated 176 toys



1. Harbor Distributing LLC

2. New Direction Community Church

3. Tony Medina

4. Dennis and Julie  Schwieterman

5. Hitco Carbon Composites

6. First Christian Church

7. Gardena-Carson Family YMCA

9. Lucky Inouye

10.Gardena Elks

11. Purche Elementary School

12. Councilwoman Rachel Johnson


            Week ending Dec. 22

GPD and GPOA            $3,720

Gardena Emblem Club No. 257            $780

Sam’s Auto Land            $250

Gardena Valley Democratic Club            $200

Walter Loughridge TTE            $200

Nellie Mationg            $100

James and Gwen Duffy            $60

Tom Faidley                        $20


Toy Donations:  New Direction Community Church, NGRC Softball, Hitco Carbon Composites Inc., GEO/Troop 683, North Torrance High School Girls Softball Team, and Brookwood Roll Goods.

Food Donations:  First Christian Church of Gardena, Tony Medina, Gardena Women of the Moose Chapter No. 430, Hitco Carbon Composites, Toyota Motor Sales/Parts Support, Casimir Block Club, Delta Kappa Gamma, Avalon Gardens, and Dennis and July Schwieterman.


            Week ending Dec. 15

Gasket Manufacturing            $1,500

AT&T                        $1,025

Gardena Recreation and Youth Sports Advisory Board            $1,000

Gardena Bowl Sunday Sansei Bowling League            $600

GMEO            $500 (second donation of $500)

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3261            $300

Boy Scouts of America, Troop No. 683                        $228

Gardena Korean Baptist Church            $220

Anonymous            $200

Nader’s Inc., Nader’s LA POPULAR            $200

Y Service Club of Gardena            $200

Anonymous            $114

Anonymous            $100

Gardena Valley Affiliated Commission on Aging            $100

Christopher and Charlotte Lynch            $100

Efren and Dolores Sales            $100

Doreen Watanabe            $100

Gerald and Ethel Barnes            $75

Louise Y. Sakamoto            $50

Sofia Pappatheodorou            $50

Joan Crishal            $25

            (unofficial total for the season)            $23,447

            TOY DONATIONS — Day Spring Christian Church, Nader’s Inc., Gardena Buddhist Church, El Camino Lions, Nissan, Hustler Casino, Boy Scout Troop 683, and the Gardena Recreation and Youth Sports Advisory Board.

            FOOD — Dean Mathiowetz, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Trent D. Dumas, Second Time Around Club, June Eicker, Gardena Nisei VFW Post 1961 Women’s Club, Gardena Community of Christ, South Bay V.A. Church, The Living Word Agape Faith Center, and the Gardena Buddhist Church, F.O.R., Gardena Bowl Sunday Sansei Bowling League, United Methodist Church, Gasket Manufacturing Inc., and Bowman and Brooke LLP.


            Week ending Dec. 8

Councilman Terrence Terauchi            $500

Anna Steuwer            $100

Anonymous            $100

Henry H. Shimabuka            $100

Judy T. Nakamoto            $50

K. and O. Ota            $50

Hisashi Nakada            $25

            (unofficial total for the season)            $16,430

            Toy Donations: Nader’s LA POPULAR Furniture Store, Gardena Nissan, and Mr. and Mrs. Denny Ward.

            Food donations: the Gardena Elks Lodge No. 1919, the Gardena-Carson Family YMCA, Lions Club, Gardena Community of Christ Church, Doris Clark, Gardena Baptist Church, Adult South Bay F.O.R., and Knights of Columbus Council No. 40.


            Week ending Dec. 1

The South Bay F.O.R. Jr. Sports Association            $1,090

James and Linda Hone            $500

First Southern Baptist Church            $300

Gardena Valley Lions Club            $200

Lutheran Oriental Church, Inc.            $200

Richard and Virginia Castilla            $100

Donald Dear            $100

Tommy and Miyoko Murakoshi            $100

Second Time Around Seniors            $100

Glenn T. Shono            $100

D. Watanabe            $100

Frank and Lidia Onderka            $50

Charleta P. Williams            $50

Gail Kawato donated $30.

            (unofficial total for the season)            $15,505

            Food donations

Kathy Kamio, Cub Scout Pack No. 203, B. Nakmacjo and the Day Spring Christian Center were big contributors of food. Pastor Oh, Sangkyu and Jesus Love Church of Southern California gave five large fruit baskets, and Pastor Ronderick D. Henry’s New Direction Community Church delivered 10 turkey baskets with all the trimmings.

The Human Services Department also acknowledged food donations from Boy Scout Troop 683, Tire Co. Inc., Distributing, LLC, Courtney’s School of Dance, and GameTime Elite Basketball Team.

            Thanksgiving food

Kiwanis of Gardena Valley, and Bowman and Brooke LLP.


Nader’s LA Popular, and The Living Word General Assembly Church of the Firstborn of Jesus Christ.


            Week ending Nov. 24

Gardena Management Employees Organization $500

The Italian Catholic Federation St. Anthony Padua Branch No. 237            $500

Gary H. Motoyama            $200

Mrs. Iku Kiriyama            $50

St. Anthony Senior Group            $25

Ken Feuer – Rend Mediation Board member            $20

Rich Gomez            $10

            (unofficial total for the season) $12,485


            Week ending Nov. 17

South Bay Toyota            $1,250

El Camino Lions Club            $500

North Torrance Lions Club            $500

Gardena Valley Friends of the Library            $100

J.R. and Jessica            $100

Ladies Auxiliary to Gen. Rosecrans Post 3261            $100

The Haskell Family$50

Kim Nolan            $30

            (unofficial total for the season) $11,180


            Week ending Nov. 10           

June Eicker            $100

In Memory of Paul and Larry Greco            $100

Edith and Kenneth Shimokochi            $100

ER Thompson            $100

Allan and Patricia Lange            $50

            (unofficial total for the season)$8,550


            Week ending Nov. 3

John and Elaine Nichelson            $200

In Memory of Tom and Jan Gohata            $200

Anonymous            $200

Alton and LaVerne Knight            $100

Sons of Italy & Elaine and Eleanor Bersano            $100

Tom Parks            $100

            (unofficial total for the season) $8,100


            Week ending Oct. 27

Gardena Elks Lodge 1919            $4,000

Richard M. Kaya            $2,000

Terry and Betty Kennedy            $400

Loyce Holt            $300

Hoodlums Club, Inc.                        $200

Evelyn B. Nall            $200

Mas Fujita            $100


            Total            $7,200


Food Donations Nov. 27

Gardena Valley Baptist Church

156thStreet  School

The Living Word  General Assembly Church Of The First Born Of Jesus Christ

Shirley Tanaka

Carson Gardena Dominguez Rotary

Kathy Kamio

Cub Scouts Pack No. 203


First Christian Church

Brookwood Rool Goods


Food Donations Nov. 20

Food donations to the City’s food pantry were made the following groups:

Agape Faith Center/Living Word

Gasket Manufacturing Company

AThe Rowley Park Second Time Around Seniors Club

 Dennis and Julie Schwietrman

The First Presbyterian Church Preschool

MCHS Football Booster


Previous weeks

Boy Scout Troop 948 of Torrance