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ASOH Angels

ASOH ANGELS are individuals who have contributed in a variety of ways and gone the extra distance for ASOH. Without these Angels, ASOH would not be. The following people gave life to ASOH. Without their vital and generous contributions … we would not be able to change lives. Thank you ASOH Angels.

Mark Niklas

Mark Niklas is a restaurant owner who joined us on our 4th home and never stopped. The “Mark standard” at ASOH means making the impossible happen. Whether it is the time it takes to achieve something, or the amount we can fit into the truck — no one does it better, faster, with more vigor, determination, effort, heart and strength than Mark. ASOH began with Georgie just doing it. Meaning she did everything from sourcing the donations, coordinating the youth, driving the truck, collecting items, hauling and installing. She saw a GREAT need and a simple concept to fulfill it. But she couldn’t do it alone. Nor could she continue at that pace, physically. Mark stepped in and provided the necessary strength, level of work ethic and the “Mark standard” to make it happen. Mark is a exemplary role model to the former foster youth staff. He gets the job done without any fuss — just heart and a swiftness that is beautiful to behold. His ability to achieve hard work with a smile has been a vital experience for the ASOH youth to witness and experience. ASOH most definitely be possible without Mark. We are all indebted to Mark. Not only for how much he has done but for how he does it — selflessly, effortlessly and seamlessly.

    Christine Devine

    Christine is a famous news anchor in Los Angeles, author, foster youth advocate, winner of 16 Emmy’s (including the Governor’s Award), recipient of a Congressional Award, is one of only 56 journalists in the prestigious Walter Cronkite School of Broadcast Journalism's Hall of Fame, and recipient of many other honors and awards. Christine is considered one of the most public faces champing the rights and needs of foster youth. After only home number two, Christine did a story on ASOH. Then again after home number 40 . Christine has stood at numerous public engagements singing the praises of ASOH. When a nonprofit begins — its like a small business — no one really knows if it will succeed. The proof is in the pudding. Christine’s very vocal and strong support for ASOH enabled the proof to be dished up in the pudding. Not only because her championing us meant so many others did but because she reaffirmed in each of us that we were on the right path. Time and time again. Thank you Christine you will always be a valued member of the ASOH family. We treasure you.

      Sarah Straton

      Sarah began donating furniture and volunteering on the very first home. She has never stopped. Sarah rallied her community as donors and volunteers with such passion and heart that she gave ASOH that first big push it needed to set sail. Sarah has been a pivotal part of the immense preparation that goes into creating all often elements we load the truck with to create a home. Without Sarah’s energy and enthusiasm , Georgie strongly believes she couldn’t have make ASOH happen without Sarah. Not only is Sarah a core ASOH community member she has been vital to the holistic approach of ASOH. Her wisdom  imparted to ASOH and the youth we serve has been invaluable. As a Certified Parent Educator through Echo Parenting & Education, Sarah conducts parenting classes and workshops, as well as facilitating support groups and consulting with individual clients.  Enhanced by her training in TINSOC (trauma-informed nonviolent standards of care) she is well versed in how attachment disorders impact relationships, regulation and the nervous system.  Sarah holds an honors degree in exercise science from the University of Western Australia and spent 15 years as a professional beach volleyball player, including representing her home country of Australia in the Olympic Games.

        Elise Peach

        Elise Peach saw the call for donations on the original random act of kindness. She didn’t know anyone associated with it but she saw a posting by a friend on her Facebook wall and reached out to Georgie and let her know she didn’t have anything but would like to send a $60 gift card. That gift card purchased a much needed sofa cover that enabled Barry’s apartment of disparate items to all come together like a spread in magazine. Then Elise volunteered at home creation number 2 for the fabulous Marcellia and ever single home after that. Including the 6am to 12midnight day for home number 10 & 11. She was who Georgie would look to when she needed a hand or someone to resolve something quickly. Or just sometime to laugh with. The presence of Elise at a home creation or house warming is a joy to behold. She is hard working, hilarious and no nonsense. Elise fell of the radar over the Christmas break. A text from Georgie was promptly answered with “This is Elise’s Mum. Elise has had a stroke.” To this day they don’t know why Elise at only 40 had a stroke. But she fought her way back and rejoined the ASOH team in mid March. Elise personifies the ASOH sprit. We LOVE Elise Peach !!!

          Maryam Lendi Huper

          Maryam is the kind of individual you see and think it truly takes a village. Maryam has been a part of ASOH since the second home we created. She brings the same passion she brought then as she does today. If not more so. Maryam brings incredible compassion, heart. style, love, generosity, and wisdom to every step she takes towards advancing ASOH. She not only donates with immense benevolence, when she volunteers she brings an entire team with her and armfuls of homemade beaked goods, flowers, decor items and a chic designer’s touch. Maryam has made ASOH her own and inspires other volunteers to show up every week and make it their own. Maryam has brought ASOH fiscal donors and countless furniture donors. Maryam’s impact on the youth she has touched will stay with them for the rest of their lives. For all youth who have met her — she is their favorite. She is maternal, nurturing, generous with her time and life experience. Without Maryam, ASOH would not be where it is. Maryam ’s heart beats in unison with ASOH’s. She personifies ASOH and the community it has attracted. Maryam is a designer, mother and social activist.

            Nicole & Ted

            In December 2014, Ambassador Nicole Avant asked Melissa Goddard what ASOH most needed. She immediately responded “a truck.” The next week Nicole and her husband, Ted Sarandos, contacted our accountant to wire us the funds for our first ever truck. We were just months old and Nicole and Ted’s generosity was our first significant donation. It enabled us to be … and to grow. Their belief in the concept of ASOH and what we had proven in a short amount of time… gave us the energy, strength, conviction and wherewithal that it took for us to go forth. We purchased the truck (which we began lovingly referring to as “Nicole & Ted”) and then came the donated warehouse space and so did our ability to collect sort and store donations. It enabled us to have our former foster youth staff and volunteers "put together" individual homes and load in the Ted & Nicole truck…. bound for its new home. And that means a new beginning for a deserving youth. By giving us wheels Ted & Nicole enabled ASOH to take flight.

              Irena Medavoy

              Irena has been the wind beneath our wings. Irena stood shoulder to shoulder with us from day one and said “I am with you, what do you need”. When Irena stands with you — Los Angeles takes notice. When Irena asks for anything — people comply. Why? It is simple… everyone loves Irena. She radiates love. That Irena chose to use that unique influence for ASOH — has truly enabled a concept to become a movement. Whether it was obtaining the rights for ASOH to use “Home” by Phillip Phillips or hosting vital fundraisers or making introductions to individuals who could enable ASOH to grow… Irena made it all happen. A fundraiser in February 2015 hosted by Irena, enabled ASOH to hire our former foster youth staff. Irena is our original ASOH Angel. Irena’s spirit, intellect, enthusiasm, positive energy, conviction, passion, heart, humanity, laughter and beauty — is brought into every home ASOH creates. Thank you Irena. We love you!

                Jeanne Pritzker

                Jeanne Pritzker received the original email from Barry Bartlett asking if Georgie Smith might help him. Georgie did what she did and then she and Melissa reported back to Jeanne with a determination to turn that random act of kindness into a program. Georgie & Melissa’s passion and enthusiasm can be overwhelming at the best of times. But about this — it was off the charts. Jeanne was not deterred. She embraced their determination and harnessed it and guided it towards the success ASOH was able to achieve so quickly. Jeanne very generously lent her experience, intellect, education, expertise, wisdom, knowhow, esteemed name, credibility, personal staff, resources and physical space — so that ASOH could come to life. ASOH was able to incubate within the welcoming embrace of Jeanne’s revered Foster Care Counts. Without Jeanne and her team’s guidance and support, ASOH would not be.


                  Ivor wants to remain anonymous. He is the incredibly generous individual who gave ASOH our donated warehouse space. It is over 3,000 square feet. with adjoining office with kitchen, a vast “linen room” and a “fashion store.” Without the ability to sort, store and organize donations we could not be able to keep up with the number of youth needing ASOH. Nor would we have a base from which our former foster youth staff could work. Without the warehouse ASOH wouldn’t have it’s own sense of home. Thank you Ivor for being a part of the ASOH family and for looking over us, every day and ensuring we are on track. Your support, guidance and generosity has meant the world to us. Each of us.

                    Denise Contreras

                    Denise Contreras and her husband, Antonio, own The Client Salon at 1804 PCH Redondo Beach. Denise began by volunteering in a home creation for ASOH and then took it upon herself to rally volunteers to join her for one half day once a week at the ASOH warehouse to organize the linens, kitchenwares, and decor. The void that exists for these youth — as they age out… is so vast. We at ASOH are filling that void at a rate that doesn’t make sense. We are such a small team… and yet what ASOH has achieved so quickly — doesn’t really make sense. It shouldn’t have been possible. But because of people like Denise who can mind read our needs… we have not had to turn down a single youth yet. The very thought of the humanity, organization, passion, love, and

                      Lynda Adelson

                      Lynda very generously leant us her home, esteemed name, community and warm hospitality to host the first of ASOH’s annual spring fundraiser. Lynda and her family took care of it all. Absolutely everything. Lynda opened up her truly exquisite home to the ASOH community, the youth it serves, and new comers and embraced each like family. The delicious, ambient occasion enabled us to celebrate the youth we serve and for them to speak publicly for the first time — in spoken word, song, music composition and speeches — how ASOH has changed their lives. Lynda’s generosity raised much needed funds but it also enabled us to truly tell the story of ASOH in an intimate way. Lynda’s kindness emboldened the ASOH team, the youth and the broader community to

                        Anne Vincent

                        Anne Vincent is an amazing New Yorker who has really surprised us all by getting her company, Burberry International, behind ASOH. Not only did Anne put together the most significant fundraiser that ASOH has had but she has hired two of the youth we served and invited them to the coveted NYC internship program. The program was actually closed down but Anne reopened it for Sashauna and Romana because she understands that this will open up possibilities they could never have dreamt of before, let alone actually experienced. Anne continues to organize fundraisers for ASOH. We will be forever indebted to Anne.

                          Ryan Oksenberg

                          Ryan Oksenberg is a talented young filmmaker who donated his time, expertise, equipment and prowess to make this incredibly completing short documentary on ASOH. It is challenging to capture the many laters of ASOH within the paradigm of its simple concept. The impact is so powerful in so many ways. And Ryan managed to capture it all — beautifully. Shot only over 2 days we are in awe of how Ryan was able to bottle the magic of ASOH. We will be forever grateful that this was documented at the very beginning of this incredible journey. Thank you Ryan for your compassion and brilliance.

                            Cast & Crew of “The Fosters”

                            Annika, Cherinda, Daffany, Doreen, Robert, Ingrid and Brooke. We love it when a work group takes on ASOH. This particular group bring the most amazing joy, laughter, good cheer, dance moves, heart, life and joie de vivre to a home creation. Their laughter and harts linger on in the home once we all leave. The impact is priceless on the youth we serve but also their fellow volunteers who always laugh a little deeper and but out more moves when they are around. We love this team and so grateful for the vigor and spunk that had added to ASOH.

                              Terry & Mary

                              Terry & Mary are two women Georgie & Melissa have never met nor spoken to. They email us when they have a truck load of donations to give us. They collect donations for ASOH and once their garage is full — the ASOH team comes to collect it. They live in the South Bay and have convinced the police departments in their area to do furniture and houseware drives for ASOH. They collect it, sort it, label it, neatly pack it and store it until the “Ted & Nicole” truck is in the area and can come by and collect.

                                Brad Miskell

                                Brad donates the time and expertise to design and develop this website, and acts as our ongoing publisher. As such, he continues to evolve and add to the site, as well as to help us hone our message. Brad ensures ASOH staff are up to speed on the social and work platforms we need to be effective, taking the extra time to teach us as we go. That’s our definition of empowerment and a principal that ASOH holds dear. Brad is an inherent part of team who thinks like a team member. Brad embodies the heart and soul of ASOH.

                                  Enrique Gutierrez

                                  Enrique Gutierrez took our hand gesture that we began organically using to symbolizes what ASOH Is — and he made it into our beautiful eye catching logo. Thank you Enrique!

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                                    A Sense of Home is a tax exempt charitable organization qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Tax ID# 47-3814056.

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                                    200 homes in under 3 years