The Pasadena-based charity organization Friends In Deed has been honored as the 2021 Nonprofit of the Year for California’s 25th Senate District by state Sen. Anthony Portantino, (D-Pasadena), representatives announced Wednesday.
The group is among 110 out of the more than 10,000 nonprofits across the state to receive the honor from state elected representatives, according to the California Association of Nonprofits. It coincides with a previous move by the Legislature to declare June 23 “California Nonprofits Day.”
Friends In Deed Executive Director Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater was grateful for the honor.
“Friends In Deed is committed to providing compassion, connection, and dignity for clients experiencing times in their lives when they need assistance most. We are humbled by this distinction and thank Sen. Portantino for all his support in the 25th District,” he said in a written statement.
“We live by our slogan of ‘doing together what we cannot do alone,’ and this past year has pushed us to be creative to make sure all our neighbors are taken care of throughout the pandemic and well into the future,” the rabbi added.
The past year has been an unprecedented time for many nonprofit organizations, according to California Association of Nonprofits CEO Jan Masaoka.
“The pandemic and shelter-in-place orders of the past year and a half have put nonprofits — usually hidden in plain sight — in the spotlight,” she said. “California Nonprofit of the Year is an opportunity for our elected officials to celebrate the good work they see nonprofits doing in their districts, and for everyone to appreciate the collective impact of nonprofits in our communities.”
Founded in 1894, Friends In Deed operated five core programs, including a food pantry, a women’s shelter, a bad weather shelter, a street outreach and housing program and an eviction prevention and rental assistance program, according to the organization.
More information on Friends In Deed, including details on how to make a donation, is available online at friendsindeedpas.org.
A full list of this year’s California Nonprofits of the Year can be found at calnonprofits.org/programs/california-nonprofit-of-the-year-2021.