The SAM Initiative has announced five grant recipients totally $225,000 in donations to Students for Students, Kids in the Spotlight, Safe Place for Youth, Grameen American and Homeboy Recycling.

The organization represents a group of Westside individuals who pool their financial resources and experiences to help fund and support the organization as they continue to promote social change.

Santa Monica resident Marcie Goldstein is a proud mother of two, and dedicates much of her time to various communities from Inglewood to the Westside as a member.

The non-profit organization was founded by Mindy Freedman in 2013. The organization stands for supporting sustainability, accountability and movement within the greater Los Angeles area.

Goldstein has been an active member for the past two years.

She said, “I had met Mindy (Founder of SAM) and I was just impressed with the kind of person she is and everything about her. Instantly I was blown away by the mission and the work she was doing.”

The organization seeks to select causes and organizations that help to address many of the critical issues facing the greater Los Angeles area.

They continue to focus on the main issues like homelessness, the foster youth community, environmentally and sustainability issues and creating an equal economic opportunity for the underserved population.

Freedman recently stated, “Our collaborative process of engaged philanthropy provides our members a tremendous sense of pride in their giving.”

In a recent press release from the SAM Initiative, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Homelessness Policy Directory, Alisa Orduna said, “Hearing the inspiring stories of hope and seeing everyday Angelenos give up their time and donations to helping our nonprofit organization on the frontline was very uplifting and a real boost of the spirit of what we do.”

The issue of homelessness hits home for Goldstein and because of her passion she served on the due diligence committee for Students for Students, formerly known as Bruin Shelter.

Students for Students is a homeless shelter organized and run by UCLA students for UCLA students.

“I have seen over the years how homelessness has increased. You know there are 58,000 homeless college students,” said Goldstein. “These kids overcome great odds and they manage to get into a University in this country. Yet they are sleeping in their cars and dragging their belongings.”

Goldstein visited the shelter and was blown away with how much students did for their peers, and with so few resources.

“These kids here have so much potential. It’s a no brainer these kids could use a little assistance,” said Goldstein.

Students for Students will receive a grant of $32,000 to help further their mission as the first homeless shelter created for college students created by students.

Kids in the Spotlight will receive a grant of $30,000 to purchase new computers and fund an administrative position to grow their foster youth program. This would allow kids professional training to write, produce, stare in and edit their own short films.

Safe Place for Youth will receive a grant of $50,000 to fund their Outreach & Engagement Program that will continue to care for youth experiencing homelessness.

Grameen America will receive a grant of $100,000 to provide microloans, financial training and support to low income women in Los Angeles Pico Union and Boyle Heights communities.

Homeboy Recycling will receive a grant of $13,000 to support their electronics-recycling program as it continues to offer a unique pathway to fundraising while yielding environmentally sustainable job opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals.

The SAM Initiative is coming up on their fifth funding cycle and they plan to continue building relationships within the community.

“As parent you teach your children that anyone can make a difference,” said Goldstein. “And with a will there is a way and the SAM Initiative is making it possible.”

For more information on The SAM Initiative, visit: