Organization Rapidly Adapted and Served Over 32,000 Meals Each Month During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Dana Alpert
- Legislative/Communications Assistant
SACRAMENTO, CA — Today, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills) announced that he has selected ONEgeneration, a community organization headquartered in Reseda, as the 2021 California Nonprofit of the Year for Assembly District 45.
“ONEgeneration has done extraordinary work serving our community, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Assemblymember Gabriel. “Their innovative programs and services have helped to bring together young folks and seniors and uplift some of our most vulnerable friends and neighbors. I am proud to recognize them as the 2021 Nonprofit of the Year for the West San Fernando Valley.”
Founded in 1978, ONEgeneration’s mission is to enrich the lives of seniors, children, and families in the West San Fernando Valley by fostering intergenerational relationships in a shared senior daycare and childcare setting.
ONEgeneration began as a storefront senior center operated by volunteers. As demographics changed and senior lifespans increased, ONEgeneration expanded and evolved to meet the community’s needs at their Senior Enrichment Center, Adult Daycare/Adult Daycare Health Center, and in the seniors’ own homes. In 1994, ONEgeneration also added a childcare program to bolster its commitment to intergenerational services and programs.
ONEgeneration offers a host of programs designed to integrate the two generations in order to boost the quality of life for young and old alike. When the seniors and youth join in activities, seniors recall favorite songs, games, and projects of their pasts as they share their skills, patience, and expertise with the children. When older adults tutor young people, they bring one-on-one attention to youth skill-building, while the children help the seniors become more comfortable with new technology.
Changes to community needs during the COVID-19 pandemic compelled ONEgeneration to pivot their programming dramatically and work creatively to stay afloat. One of their largest sources of funding, the childcare center, had to close while the needs of its seniors increased drastically. In a resilient response, ONEgeneration not only greatly increased its grant application output, but also expanded its food delivery services for homebound individuals and established a food pantry for community members in need. Over the course of the last year, ONEgeneration has served over 32,000 meals each month as well as reclaimed and repurposed over 250,000 pounds per month of food from local markets for its food pantries. Working with over 40 community partners including affordable housing units, churches, homeless shelters, and food banks, ONEgeneration was able to serve anywhere from eight to ten thousand people a month. Their efforts also included providing services that ensured over two thousand isolated, homebound seniors received COVID-19 vaccinations.
Throughout the West Valley, ONEgeneration serves a wide array of community members with diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds, including individuals who speak Armenian, Farsi, Yiddish, Spanish, Tagalog, Mandarin, and more. Program participants include low-income and homebound seniors, at-risk youth such as foster children and teen parents, developmentally disabled children and adults, individuals with long-term illnesses such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, or Parkinson’s Disease, as well as elderly and youth caregivers.
“On behalf of the staff, volunteers, and those we serve, we are honored to be selected as a Non Profit of the Year,” said Jenna Hauss, President and CEO of ONEgeneration. “We take great pride in the work that we do, and remain thankful for the opportunities and ability to meet the needs, support, and enrich the lives of our older adults, children, and families throughout our diverse communities.”