Focus On Philanthropy 2016

From food and fashion to fun and philanthropy,  at Effie Magazine we curate the people, parties and passion that reflect our mission of “Living Life with Opulence and Purpose.”

Throughout the year, we feature individuals, companies and service agencies/nonprofits that champion community progress in arts/culture/LGBT issues, and give them the attention they deserve. And, while there are many organizations out there doing wonderful work, there are inevitably a handful of them that really make an impression our team and our readers.

This is Effie Magazine’s Focus On Philanthropy list of top service agencies of 2016. These philanthropic endeavors aspire to bring progress to all of our communities and make the world a more beautiful place to live. They standout not only because they are consistently helping those in need, but because of the dynamic and unique ways in which they inspire and empower people who want to help. We hope you will be inspired to become more involved…

Gay Men’s Chorus Of Los Angeles

With over 35 years of success and survival as a community united in song, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) sings for a future free from homophobia and all other discrimination. GMCLA exposes its message of equality to many new communities on a local, national and international level through programs like Alive Music Project, it gets better, and collaborations with the gay chorus of Cuba, Mano a Mano, the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles (TCLA) and Boy George for E!’s “I am Cait.”

“It was a hot July night in 1979.  A small group of men opened the doors to a room at the Plummer Park Community Center in Los Angeles (now West Hollywood), waiting and wondering if anybody would show up. They had posted flyers around the neighborhood announcing the formation of a new gay chorus and this night was to be its first rehearsal. To their great surprise, 99 men appeared and a chorus was born. Through the height of the AIDS crisis, the Chorus lost over 150 members. Only 12 original members remain.”

 At the upcoming 5th Annual Voice Awards, GMCLA celebrates the champions who advance acceptance in the world, refute silence, lend a voice to the oppressed, exhibit leadership and give hope to those living under the weight of silence. For more information, visit

Love Light Compassion Foundation

The foundation was built on the principal that Compassion is one of humanity’s greatest gifts. This beautiful spiritual thread connects us all and to help one another is truly the purest form of Love and Light. The Love Light Compassion Foundation (LLCF) was formed in 2014 to provide emergency financial assistance to patients and their families during a major medical crisis in our local and global communities.

“I was working with families who were enduring heart wrenching pediatric medical challenges, not related to cancer. These families and several doctors shared how there were many cancer support programs but very little financial assistance available to pediatric patients outside of cancer,” Tracy Appleton Tarrant, Co-founder, President. “We decided to try and find a way to help the vast number of people who are in need of emergency financial assistance during medical treatment and LLCF was born of these reflections.”

LLCF mindfully designs, sources and produces inspirational compassion based jewelry, such as the Buddha Necklace, bracelets and Chakra line available at privately hosted jewelry events, select retailers and the LLCF online store: 100% of all donations and proceeds from the foundation’s support the mission. For more information, visit

Notes For Notes

The organization designs, equips, and staffs after-school recording studios inside Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the country, and offering youth (6-18 years old) the opportunity to explore, create, and record music for FREE. The non-profit organization began simply as an idea in 2006, formed through co-founder Philip Gilley’s mentorship in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Santa Barbara, CA. He sought a way to make a meaningful connection with his “Little” and pass on something that would last with him forever.

As a guitarist, Phil thought that introducing the instrument that occupied his own time would perhaps inspire his “Little.” However, Phil’s “Little” didn’t want to learn guitar; he wanted to learn drums. Not having a set, Phil took him down to a local music store and taught him the basics on the demo kit. This became a regular outing of theirs – Phil justifying each visit to the music store with the purchase of a pack of strings or picks – while he taught his “Little” drums. He quickly realized that this wasn’t a sustainable model, and that more youth should have access to instruments like guitars, drums, and even studio recording.

Ten years later Notes For Notes enjoys the support of musicians like Martin Gore (Depeche Mode), Marko De Santis (Sugar Cult), Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), and companies like Underground Culture Hair,  Sonos  and many other music equipment manufacturers. For more information, visit

Pablove Foundation

The foundation’s is dedicated to invest in underfunded, cutting-edge pediatric cancer research, inspire cancer families through education and improve the lives of children living with cancer through the arts. The mission was born from the co-founders’ own journey as parents facing childhood cancer.

“Our (Pab)love story began in 2008, when our son Pablo was diagnosed with bilateral Wilms Tumor, a rare form of childhood cancer. From the day of his diagnosis, we took to the blogosphere to keep our loved ones up-to-date on Pablo’s progress…to vent…and to preserve our countless happy moments with him. Soon, our oldest friends were rallying alongside perfect strangers to help our family through each day,” co-founders Jo Ann and Jeff Castelaz. “Even with love pouring in from around the world, our “happily ever after” didn’t come: Pablo passed away six days after his sixth birthday. On that day more than any other, our amazing community wrapped its collective arms around us—and their love inspired us. In this exchange, The Pablove Foundation was born.”

 When a child is diagnosed with cancer, an entire community is diagnosed with cancer. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, schoolmates, neighbors—even cyberspace friends—are moved by something everyone feels intuitively: kids should never have to experience cancer. For more information, visit

Urban Harvester

Since its inception in 2009, the Urban Harvester has always been all about connections. Approximately 40% of all food produced in the United States is wasted, but through a food recovery and reallocation program Urban Harvester is able to provide fresh nutritious food for the clients of organizations like Grandview Foundation and Friends In Deed who often have to choose between keeping a roof over their heads or food on the table.

Throughout my time as Pantry Manager at Friends In Deed, I have had the opportunity to meet with some outstanding and dedicated people who are making a difference in the battle against hunger. Linda Hess is one of those people,” Tim Nistler, Food Pantry Manager/Volunteer Coordinator Friends In Deed. “There is a hunger epidemic across our nation that continues to grow, but it is an epidemic that can be reversed. It will take hard work and a dedication to eradicating hunger. Urban Harvester puts in the work every day and has shown they are truly dedicated to the fight by continuing to put Grocery stores that want to donate their food in touch with those of us that are trying to end hunger in our communities.”

The Wells Fargo foundation recently granted $50,000 to Urban Harvester. The grant will enable Urban Harvester to carry over its successful program from Southern California up to Northern California, rescuing fresh food in the Bay Area and positively impacting the region’s more than 800,000 people living in poverty. For more information, visit

Villa Esperanza Services

Founded in 1961, Villa Esperanza Services is devoted to the care and education of a diverse population of children, adults, and seniors with over 25 different disabilities from over 50 different Southern California cities.

“One of Villa’s many great attributes is the fact that we are here to serve individuals at all stages of life. We have a school for ages 5-22 that includes Speech and Language and Occupational Therapy and once they graduate we have a variety of adult programs,” Casey Gregg, VP Children and Youth Programs Villa Esperanza Services. “Take for instance Tom, James, Greg and Carson in the photo attached they have been part of the Villa family since they were children. Now one lives in our Villa apartments with help from our Independent Living Skills program and he also has a job thanks to Villa’s employment program. Another lives in one of Villa’s group homes and works in the community. While the other two are retired from the work programs and both attend Villa’s Dimensions Adult Day Program. We have something for everyone and with the level of support for that person.  Our programs really meet the needs of the person instead of the other way around.”

 Villa Esperanza hosts a variety of fundraising and community engaging events throughout the year, including the 18th Annual Day of Thoroughbred Racing, Blue and White Gala and Tournament of Hope. For more information, visit

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