Life-Saving Care.

Alex Salazar was extremely ill and weak and was being released from a San Diego hospital because his insurance didn’t cover the services he needed. That’s when he heard about an amazing health system from one of his good friends, his “guardian angel,” and turned to San Ysidro Health to get the treatment he needed.

Alex’s story is one of many. He is one of those patients who needed life-saving care and found a place to get it. Salazar shared with Giving Back Magazine, “San Ysidro Health is very personal to me because, frankly, they pretty much saved my life when I was in desperate need of services and medication.”

His is just one of hundreds of patient stories showing the impact San Ysidro Health has on our community. Every day across our region San Ysidro Health provides excellent, affordable health services for the entire family. As a matter of fact, tens of thousands of patients have come through the doors of the clinics and programs of San Ysidro Health for the nearly 50 years the organization has been in existence. These patients have been welcomed regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.

San Ysidro Health is a critical part of our community’s health safety net. For many years government grants and programs have helped to fund some of the services, but things are changing. Governmental priorities are shifting, and with those shifts funding can become more difficult to obtain.

With the season of giving upon us, San Ysidro Health is asking that you consider a gift to support their mission and to help provide our communities with excellent health services. If you are interested in learning more, or would like to support the organization’s efforts you can go to their website: or contact Maggie Hannegan, Director of Philanthropy at (619) 941-2372.

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Transforming Lives from Vulnerable to Vibrant.

Now in its second century of service, Volunteers of America is one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive human service organizations, touching the lives of almost two million people each year in hundreds of communities across the nation. Each year, Volunteers of America Southwest serves over 8,000 individuals, children and families in the areas of education, behavioral health and housing. Their programs offer assistance in San Diego County, Imperial County, and Southern California’s Inland Empire, helping homeless veterans with disabilities achieve self-reliance, helping men and women to return to their families clean and sober, caring for elders and those struggling with mental health challenges, and supporting the futures of our community’s children through education and overall family well-being.

Health Tips

By Angelica Gavaldon.

I am always fascinated by the great variety in which people choose to eat healthy. What works for one may not work for the other. There are so many debates and arguments about how, when and how much to eat that a consensus is impossible. I wanted to dedicate this article to someone I have seen transform her approach to nutrition successfully through choosing to become vegan.

Lately, I have noticed many people are going vegan. I saw my beautiful 14-year-old niece, Sinaia Haskal, recently signed by a modeling agency and a great tennis player, go from eating a plate full of brownies in one sitting to only consuming fruits and veggies. While Sinaia never had a weight problem, her disciplined personality drove her to want to lead a healthier lifestyle. She was inspired to make this big change when she saw a documentary which made her want to give up all processed foods. So, this is what she eats and how she has changed her nutrition.

Breakfast: Only fruit. Sometimes this may even be a half pineapple in one sitting. As incredible as that sounds, I have witnessed this myself.

Snack: Nuts, cashews, almonds, or whatever it is she is craving.

Lunch: Some type of vegetable and more fruit. Sometimes she may have a protein bar, which is as processed as her food will get.

After School Meal: This is always a plate full of colorful vegetables as well as lentils. She may also have sweet potatoes for carbs and tahini for extra calories.

Snack: More fruit.

Dinner: Again, more vegetables and sometimes peanut butter with cacao and fruit.

To keep her regimen regardless of special events, she will eat before or after the occasion. Since turning vegan, Sinaia has also had clearer skin and more energy.

Despite the many benefits seen with the diet, there was concern whether Sinaia was getting enough protein. After much research, her usual animal-based protein was replaced by plant-based foods that contain just as much protein as a steak. You would be surprised how much protein you can add throughout the day just by eating certain vegetables and nuts. Below is a list of vegan protein sources:
• Tofu
• Beans
• Lentils
• Quinoa
• Amaranth
• Soy milk
• Almond milk
• Green peas
• Chia seeds
• Pumpkin seeds
• Artichokes
• Peanut butter
• Broccoli

I am not recommending anyone change their diets as I am not a nutritionist nor a doctor; if you are considering this please consult your physician. Instead I am encouraging you to be committed to living a healthier lifestyle. If reading this inspired you to change your diet, then it is the first step to a healthier you!

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Holidays Finest

Holiday Season.

This holiday season, make memories at events you can enjoy with your family. We share with you five holiday events that will create joy in your lives.

Salud Ruth Melero

Holiday Season.

As the owner of M Winehouse in Little Italy, Ruth Melero has an immensely busy schedule, however, she has made having it all possible. “I always find inspiration in women who become successful doing what they’re passionate about and find a way to balance life”, Ruth shares with Giving Back Magazine, and that is exactly what she has done. She continuously exercises good time management by taking life at her own pace.


Southwest Airlines.

Southwest Airlines has continuously dedicated their resources to improving the San Diego community through varied efforts, known as Southwest Citizenship, including charitable giving, environmental initiatives, as well as community outreach and volunteering. Our philanthropic activities also provide us with the opportunity to get to know individuals and local organizations on a level that allows us to forge meaningful partnerships. With the end of the year being a time to reflect, Southwest Airlines would like to recognize a few outstanding partners that share our values.

Asian Film

Pacific Arts Movement.

Moviegoers, your favorite fall festivity is back and bigger than ever! From November 9 to 18, Pacific Arts Movement proudly presents the 18th San Diego Asian Film Festival. Founded in 2000, the festival has grown to be the largest platform of Asian cinema on the West Coast.

Boys And Girls

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego.

Now celebrating its 75th birthday, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego has a distinguished history as a youth non-profit organization in San Diego County. Established in Logan Heights in 1941, the Boys Club of San Diego was the first Boys Club built in San Diego County. Since then, the agency has grown to include 19 sites and is the second largest Boys & Girls Club agency in California, covering almost 45% of San Diego County. Their mission is to inspire and enable youth to achieve academic success, build good character and responsible citizenship, and make healthy lifestyle choices.

Center Better Beginnings

Promoting An Alcohol-Free Pregnancy.

After more than 40 years of research on the effects of alcohol exposure on the developing baby, Ken Jones, MD, along with the newly formed Better Beginnings Coalition kicked off a nationwide campaign called Nine Months Matter. The campaign goal is to spread the word that there is no known amount of alcohol that is safe during pregnancy. Research has confirmed that drinking alcohol does more damage to the developing fetus than heroin, cocaine or marijuana. When a developing baby is exposed to alcohol during pregnancy it can cause brain damage leading to lifelong disabilities which are collectively referred to as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).


Celebrating 50th Anniversary.

Home of Guiding Hands (HGH) was founded and incorporated by an ambitious group of community leaders in 1961. The organization opened its doors in 1967 to provide essential services for infants, adolescents and adults diagnosed with an intellectual or developmental disability such as Down syndrome, autism, epilepsy or cerebral palsy.

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