Giving back has been the driving force of Dr. Barbara Arnold’s life. The celebrated ophthalmologist has generously donated her time, money and wisdom for decades—which she believes is the key to a life well lived.
“If you do big things young enough in life, you get to see the ripple effect as you get older,” says Arnold, who lives in Curtis Park, but also has an art studio off Scribner Road along the Sacramento River, where she paints the natural beauty out her window. “That’s why I encourage younger people to participate (in philanthropy). Do it within your vibrant lifetime to witness what your giving has done.”
Every little bit helps. No one knows that more than Dawn Dais, founder of the nonprofit Throwing Starfish Foundation. “People want to help, but they get overwhelmed because there’s so much need,” Dais says. “It makes you want to throw your hands up—but the truth is, if we all did a little bit, it adds up to something really large.”
When COVID-19 simultaneously overloaded the health care system and hobbled the hospitality industry, East Sacramento resident Sheri Graciano put two and two together. Why not do something that would help both overworked health care professionals and local restaurants struggling to stay afloat?
For as long as Patrick Mulvaney could remember, his industry had four responses for restaurant workers dealing with depression. “They were: go home, get back on the line, stop drinking or let’s do a shot,” says the chef and owner at Mulvaney’s B&L. “None of them were good.”
Nonprofit organizations suffered this spring when social-distancing orders due to COVID-19 gradually closed up most volunteer positions. For the McKinley Rose Garden, run by nonprofit Friends of East Sacramento, the timing couldn’t have been worse.
“Our volunteers start up at the end of April and continue throughout the year until the New Year,” says Nisa Hayden, who started her position as garden manager and volunteer coordinator in late March. “But flowers are dictated by nature, and the beautiful spring weather and generous fertilizing all winter have brought glorious blooming to our 1,200 rose bushes.”
April is a busy month for Mary Beth Arjil. She is helping organize not one, but two fundraising walks to fight Parkinson’s disease—the 4th Annual Robert G. Smith Walk to COP (Cancel Out Parkinson’s) by the Parkinson Association of Northern California, and Moving Day by the Parkinson’s Foundation.
These walks raise crucial funds for research and support for people living with Parkinson’s disease. People like Mary Beth Arjil.