I started this site to highlight a variety of things, including inspirational or informative work of people in our communities. This is the first in a series featuring people from all walks of life who have made it a point to give of themselves in service to their community. I love learning about inspirational people who make time for others and wanted to share about some of them. My hope is that their passion and action will help inspire me (and others) to give in the way that best works for us. The people I’ve chosen aren’t limited to one political ideology or selected based on the amount of time or money they have given. The tie that binds them is their commitment to taking action in the service of others. We all have that opportunity in ways that are small or large and it’s nice to celebrate when our fellow San Diegans find time to help.
I sat down with Linda Katz, a truly kind woman who finds time to help people in a variety of ways, to learn a bit more about who she is and why she gives of herself. Here’s what she said…
1. How long have you lived in San Diego? What do you enjoy most about living here?
Mel and I moved to San Diego, from Arizona, with our best friends and business partners, Catherine and Phil Blair in 1977.
Having been born and raised in Arizona, our family vacationed in Oceanside every summer, since I was little. I feel so fortunate to live where we enjoyed our family vacations. I thank my lucky stars every single day. Plus, I LOVE THE BEACH!
2. Tell me about your family? Spouse/Partner? Kids? Pets?
Mel and I have been married 36 years. In 1977, within three months, we moved to San Diego, bought the business, Manpower, Mel and I got married and our best friends, Catherine and Phil, gave birth to their first child, Trevor, my Godson.
We have three adult children, Lindsey, Ashley and Jeffrey and four grandchildren, our fifth grandchild is due in August.
Lindsey and her family live in Madrid; Ashley and her family live in Scripps Ranch, blocks from where she grew up; Jeffrey lives in Los Angeles and is a filmmaker.
We have a seven-year-old mini-labradoodle, Charli (pictured below).
3. What are the charitable organizations in which you are currently involved?
I am passionate about supporting the most vulnerable populations of women and girls. When women thrive, families thrive, communities thrive, and nations thrive.
I am a Founding Member of the San Diego Women’s Foundation, Co-Founder, Women Give San Diego, a Donor Circle of the Women’s Foundation of California; member of the Women’s Leadership Council, United Way of San Diego County; Honorary Chair, AFP – San Diego’s 2014 National Philanthropy Day; actively engaged in Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, Barrio Logan College Institute and Girl Scouts San Diego.
*editor’s note: This link from Women Give San Diego presents a compelling case for focusing resources on improving the lives of women.*
4. How long have you been involved in the community in San Diego? What was the first thing you remember doing?
I have been actively engaged as a community volunteer for 35 years. My first involvement, as a volunteer in San Diego, was the Scripps Ranch Unit, Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary and as a volunteer “Options Counselor” for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, Escondido Health Center.
5. Why did you get involved? What keeps you involved?
We were new to town, volunteering was a great way to meet friends that shared our same core values. I grew up in a family that was committed to giving back to their community; I volunteered as a youngster with my mom.
We are so grateful for the wonderful life we enjoy and all of the opportunities we have been provided. We love San Diego; we are committed to doing whatever we can to support the often overlooked, historically underserved populations in our community.
Why do we stay involved? It’s what we do; it’s what we enjoy; there’s so much work to be done.
6. Any advice for people thinking about getting more involved in philanthropic or charitable work in the San Diego region?
I have found the philanthropic community in San Diego to be a welcoming one. Everyone has gifts to share, whether it is time, talent or treasure. At different times in our lives, we are in a position to share our gifts in different ways and in different amounts. A lot of little gifts add up to big gifts. Together, we can make magic.
7. What’s your favorite place to eat? Favorite beverage? Last travel destination?
We most recently went to New York City to enjoy Spring Break with our daughter Lindsey and her family. NYC through the eyes of a six-year-old and four-year-old was a blast. It was all about the transportation – airplanes, boats, buses, metros, taxis, carriage rides, elevators – all good!
I will be heading to Madrid in July; stay two weeks; bring back our six-year-old granddaughter, Nicole, to stay with us for 12 days by herself, before her family joins us. Love spending time with the Grands!
8. Anything else you care to share?
I love to walk and read. I have walked in 11 Susan G. Komen for the Cure 3-Days.
I enjoyed having Linda share what drives her and hope her story helps others find ways to get involved! Thanks for dropping by. If you’d like any information on ways to get involved in any of the areas you read about above, please visit the links or leave a comment. Have a great day.