long-time donor Sue Epstein (right)

The impact of donors

“We’re all just ripples in the pond”–that’s what long-time donor and volunteer Sue Epstein believes.  If we go back in time, you’ll see a woman full of determination with a work ethic like no other. Sue made a career as a library technology and management consultant and raised three wonderful children–all while managing to find time to volunteer and get involved with the community.

As her children got older, Sue looked for more ways to fill her time with meaningful activities. That’s when she found Share Ourselves. What started as volunteering with the annual Adopt A Family program turned into a much deeper connection with the Case Management program.  

Sue could tell you countless stories–and trust us, you’d like to hear them–about the tremendous impact she’s witnessed over the years. One story in particular stands out. While volunteering at Madison Elementary School in Santa Ana, she was informed of a student whose family was facing an incredibly difficult time. The mother had quickly fallen ill and the father had to stop working to take care of her. After a few short weeks, the mother passed away leaving behind three children.

The school asked Sue if she thought Share Ourselves could help, and in turn, Sue reached out to the case management team to start the process.  The ripples started when one volunteer offered to help provide a laptop for the eldest son who would be going to college soon. Someone else started gathering funds to support the family. Each person who heard about the situation thought about how they could help and then jumped into action.

“This is what sets us apart. Look what happens when people come together–Share Ourselves helps change lives.”

Sue Epstein

It was at that moment when Sue realized the ripple effect of everyone’s actions. Every action turned into another action, ultimately leading to this student and his family getting support in their greatest time of need. 

These types of stories are what inspired Sue to begin a yearly donation to Share Ourselves to support case managers, ensuring she would see the impact of her donations in her lifetime. With the help of her annual contribution, the case management team can serve between 75-100 families at any given time.  Giving special funds to this program extends far beyond meeting basic needs, helping provide comprehensive care for each family. These donations help turn lives around, giving the extra hand up people need to get back on their feet.

When you don’t have basic needs met, you won’t get better. That’s why the support of case managers serves as a foundation for health, ensuring people have access to not only medical care but also essential services such as utility assistance or food security. Whether you’re able to make a meaningful yearly donation like Sue, willing to help raise funds for specific programs, or able to commit your time to volunteering, you too can make a true difference in uplifting those around you.

“You know, every time I see a story about people who just gave $50 million to [an organization], I go, oh wow, wonderful–I’m never going to be able to give that. But what can I help with?” said Sue.

No matter how large or small, your donations make an impact. Start considering what you’re passionate about and what programs you’d like to support. In the end, you never know where the ripple lands, but when we come together, we can see the uplift in our community. 

Become a donor