MMGN - Tatis

Padres slugger Fernando Tatís Jr. meets military families at the third annual Military Heroes Festival at Liberty Station

More than 2,000 military service members and their families turned out to USO San Diego and its partners’ third annual Military Heroes Festival at Liberty Station on August 21. Attendees were gifted groceries, clothing, school supplies, and treats, and also got to meet the San Diego Padres Friar, the Pad Squad, Padres CEO Erik Greupner, and star player Fernando Tatís Jr.

USO San Diego will honor the Padres for their longtime support and collaboration with the American Eagle Award at its Stars & Stripes Gala on October 23.

The MolinaCares Accord, in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of California, recently recognized four San Diegans for their work in reducing health disparities and advocating for social equity. Each received a MolinaCare Champions Award and a $5,000 grant to pay it forward to the nonprofit of their choice. 

MMGN - Cassie

San Diego Rescue Mission employee Cassie Bates with her MolinaCare Champions Award

The winners were San Diego Rescue Mission employee Cassie Bates, who works with women participating in the mission’s residential recovery program; Saw Paw Kay, who joined the Union of Pan Asian Communities’ Teen Empowerment Group at 14 and went on to help develop its Neighborhood Enterprise Center; Maria Barraza, a certified nurse assistant, advocate, counselor, and educator who works with seniors at Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego; and Vincent Hall, who serves on the board of Free to Thrive, which provides trauma-informed and comprehensive support services to survivors of human trafficking.

“We are pleased to recognize the leadership and service of these inspiring individuals who demonstrate an unwavering commitment to serving our most vulnerable neighbors throughout San Diego County,” said Abbie Totten, plan president of Molina Healthcare of California. 

Foundation for Women Warriors is expanding its presence in North County. The nonprofit, which supports female veterans and their families, recently moved into a new warehouse where workers collect and distribute diapers, wipes, formula, car seats, cribs, school supplies, and other essential household goods. The new location is nearly twice as large as their previous facility. 

“With the support of our loyal friends, partners, volunteers, and donors, we have been able to quickly respond to the needs of our community and remain strategically flexible where necessary,” said Jodie Grenier, CEO of Foundation for Women Warriors. “This expansion allows us to provide the necessary relief to enhance the lives of more veterans, especially those who are recovering from the financial impact of the pandemic.” 

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