Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Positively Pittsburgh Live! Pittsburgh Non-Profits Spreading a Little Love 2-11-13

Positively Pittsburgh Live!
Pittsburgh Non-Profits Spreading a Little Love
Positively Pittsburgh Live is taking a different approach to Valentine's Day this year and interviewing organizations that spread a little love around Pittsburgh. We invited many non-profits who were delighted at the invitation but had no one available to interview this evening. But tonight these four amazing organizations will represent non profits that improve self esteem, give a hand up to those in need and fight for individual rights and freedom. They all have their own perspective on spreading a little love around the Pittsburgh Area.

Hosanna Industries, Inc., Reverend Dr. Donn D. Ed
Celebrate & Share, JoAnn Forrester
Hair Peace Charities, Bonny Diver Hall
New Voices Pittsburgh, La’Tasha D. Mayes

Hosanna Industries, Inc. is a faith-rooted, 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization in southwestern Pennsylvania. The mission includes new construction and repair/rehabilitation services for low income homeowners; leading volunteers in disaster recovery; and training young people in the trade skills to give them a hope for the future. The Executive Director is Reverend Dr. Donn D. Ed, who founded the mission in 1990. 

Their typical single client household in 2012 made less than $13,000 a year. Many were elderly. They provide home repairs such as roofing, window replacement, siding, flooring, handicap accessible ramps, retaining walls, plumbing, electrical, etc. at no cost to the client.

Since their founding, Hosanna Industries has provided nearly fifty million dollars worth of charitable work to the community for less than fourteen million dollars. Hosanna Industries depends on the generosity of others to complete their work.

Hosanna’s missions include providing vocational training for unskilled workers particularly in construction trades, providing assistance in the development and start-up of small businesses by persons who lack the economic ability and expertise, promoting the creation of job opportunities for unemployed person, and providing mobilization of relief workers to areas of disaster and poverty.

Terrell Trade Skill Learning Center is very relevant to what Hosanna has always done in that they constantly train unskilled volunteers to do meaningful work. It is becoming increasingly well-known in our region and throughout the nation, that there is a
mounting and severe lack of skilled labor in the American workforce. Hosanna sees an impending crisis developing in which work will need to be done and few people will be available with the proper skills needed to accomplish that work.

Nine students, eight of whom are from Homewood in Pittsburgh, are enrolled in classes which started last month. Classes meet three times a week for ten weeks per semester. The whole program is designed to be three years in length. This first semester they are learning nomenclature, what a builder is, basic building principles, tools, and framing. Each semester from then on has a different focus including but not limited to drywall,
electrical, roofing, masonry, flooring, plumbing, and running your own contracting business. The facility will also house industrial and visual art classes for homeschooled students, Saturday seminars to teach basic home maintenance, and training opportunities for church mission trips.

Their new construction is called a Blitz Build, where they prepare the foundation and frame the walls first, and then in a less than five day period, build the whole house complete with appliances. Friday the fully built and landscaped home is dedicated to the Glory of God, and ready for the needy family to move in. Volunteers help with the rehab/repair efforts and are provided with the tools, leadership, and instruction to finish the job.

Hosanna has aided in disaster relief efforts such as the Joplin tornado relief where they led 1,225 volunteers to build two homes and repair 15 others; Hurricane Ivan flood rehabilitation and repair work in Pittsburgh for over 500 homeowners, and they are  currently researching Sandy relief, as well as West Liberty, Kentucky tornado relief.

Statistics summary:
Houses built: nearly 150
Projects done: 160 last year / over 2,700 total
Volunteers led: 5,000 last year / nearly 150,000 total
Charitable work provided to the community: over two million dollars last year /nearly 50 million dollars total
Every dollar donated is equivalent to approximately four dollars of market valued construction work.

Current needs and upcoming events:
Hosanna depends on the generosity of others, and do not receive any government funding. Donations are always needed and appreciated.
March 16, 2013: Love Your Home Seminar: will train on basic home maintenance and remodeling
March 23, 2013: Palm Sunday 23rd Anniversary
May 19, 2013: Trap Shoot Benefit at Northside Sportsmen's Association

For more information on Hosanna Industries, located at 109 Rinard Lane, Rochester, PA 15074, visit their website at

Celebrate & Share is an organization founded by Bonnie DiCarlo and JoAnn R. Forrester in 2002, featuring the achievement of women, and raising funds for organizations which focus on the needs of women and children in the community.

The Women of Achievement Awards was established in March 2006 during women’s History Month to honor the women of Greater Pittsburgh who contribute to the community and to establish the foundation of a Women’s Hall of  Achievement. 

Their charity of choice is Cribs for Kids®, a not for profit organization led by Executive Director, Judy Bannon, who with her staff and volunteers, continues tirelessly to spread the word about reducing infant sleep-related deaths, such as asphyxia, accidental suffocation and SIDS, by providing free cribs for infants and educating parents about safe- sleep practices for their babies. For more information please go to Judy is also a 2006 Women of Achievement honoree.

This is the 8th year celebrating the Women of Achievement Awards and the first of many shows highlighting the women of Pittsburgh  and their accomplishments. The event will be held on March 6, 2013 at the Omni William Penn Hotel.

Please join Honorary Chairs, District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr.and Mary Zappala, as they CELEBRATE Women of Achievement and SHARE proceeds with Cribs for Kids® Infant Safe Sleep Initiative. View a list of this year’s honorees here

$95 - Individual Ticket
$150 – Honorary Sponsor (One Ticket and Listing in Program Book)
$950 Table Sponsorship (Ten Tickets, Table Sponsor Sign, and Listing in Program Book)
$1,250 – Baby’s Breath Table Sponsor (Ten Tickets, Baby’s Breath Centerpiece and Half-page Ad in Program Book)
$5,000 – Presenting Sponsor (Ten Tickets, Premiere Seating, and Full-Page Ad in Program Book)
Please RSVP by Wed., Feb. 27, 2013 by calling Cribs for Kids® at 412.322.5680 ext. 5.
Program Book Ad Sponsorships: Full-page (5”x 8”) /$500 - Half-page (5”x 3.875”) /$250 - Quarter-page (2.375”x 3.875”) /$150
Ad Deadline:  Feb. 27, 2013 

Bonny Diver Hall, local radio personality, founded Hair Peace Charities in 2005 after finding out that she had cancer after falling from her horse. She began to plan her funeral, but was told by a dear friend to “walk toward life in faith not fear” – and it changed her perspective on how to deal with cancer. She found out from her surgeon that very few insurance companies pay for wigs for patients losing their hair to chemotherapy and she also found out that very few organizations had good practical information for dealing with the side effects of cancer treatment. For example: Eat ginger when nauseated from chemotherapy and you will feel better. 

Via support from her church, Ingomar Methodist, she began Hair Peace with a mission 
to help women in need locally with financial, spiritual, emotional and practical support for dealing with cancer. 
She explains that their mission today is to help local women in need to purchase a wig 
when they lose their hair to chemotherapy during their cancer battle, and to provide a 
monthly support group for women affected by cancer sharing healthy options for dealing with all the side effects and issues when going through cancer treatment. 

Women are typically referred to Hair Peace from different cancer centers in town, referrals from other women served, and the website The women call and Hair Peace counsels them on what to expect during treatment, wig salon referrals, provide prayer cards, quilts and general support. They also provide a $150.00 voucher to the salon to put toward the purchase of a wig, which fills a need that the insurance companies do not. Hair Peace has served over 500 women to date, and they rely on volunteers, including Bonnie herself, to share their time, talent or treasure to support the charity. 

The demand for services has escalated and they expect next year alone to serve at least 300 women in the 11 counties in and around Pittsburgh. They have planned expansion to the South Hills with a monthly support group and will expand the staff and board of Hair Peace to continue to enhance offerings and preserve a great experience for the women they serve. 
Hair Peace needs your help to support the demand. Join them for Recipe For Hope, their annual fundraiser, on February 23, 2013 at 7:30 pm at Mayernik Center in the North Hills off Camp Horne Road. This unique event features 18 local celebrities from TV, Radio and Print coming together and giving their time to cook and serve their favorite culinary treats for all that attend. There is an Open Bar, Live Music, Silent Auction, and Mystery Wine Bags. 

Great auction items including an autographed Malkin Penguin Jersey will be up for grabs. 
Tickets are $100.00 each and are limited. Every 2 tickets purchased supports 1 Cancer Survivor. The event sells out every year so don’t delay! Help Hair Peace today! 

Purchase tickets at their website If you need assistance, have just been diagnosed with cancer and facing chemotherapy, want to volunteer your time and talent, or make a donation, visit the site or call 412-327-5177. Help women walk towards faith and become more than just a cancer survivor but a warrior in the battle against cancer.


La’Tasha D. Mayes is the Founder and Executive Director of New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice, the only Human Rights organization in Pittsburgh for women of color, led by women of color and about women of color. Founded in 2004, New Voices Pittsburgh serves women of color primarily ages 12-35 through social change activism, civic engagement and leadership development. Visit their website here

Through La'Tasha's leadership, New Voices Pittsburgh has developed: SistahSpeak! Youth ProjectTM a sexual & reproductive health, community organizing and mentoring program for young women of color ages 12-18, Environmental Justice Project that hosts the annual “Kinks, Locks & Twists: Environmental and Reproductive Justice ConferenceTM,” FOCUS on Women Campaign to address Human Rights and Reproductive Justice violations in the Allegheny County Jail, LGBTQ Women of Color Reproductive Justice SeriesTM that creates space for queer and trans women/people of color to be visible and empowered and Women of Color HERStory Month® a city-wide celebration hosted between February 15 – March 15. 

La'Tasha earned a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management in Reproductive Health and Justice Policy at Heinz School of Carnegie Mellon and is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration. La’Tasha is an alumna of the Coro Center for Civic Leadership Fellows Program in Public Affairs and Center for Progressive Leadership Pennsylvania Leaders Program; and currently participates in the Women’s Health Leadership Network at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC. 

La’Tasha serves as national Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Sister Song Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective based in Atlanta, the largest Human Rights advocacy organization for Indigenous and Women of Color in the United States. 

She forges institutional change in the Greater Pittsburgh Region as a Commissioner on the Allegheny County Human Relations Commission and Social Action Chair of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Pittsburgh Alumnae Chapter. La'Tasha serves on the Leadership Committee of Women for a Healthy Environment, is a member of the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh and is past President of the Urban League Young Professionals of Greater Pittsburgh. La’Tasha is also First Voice Consultant for the “In Sisterhood: The Women’s Movement in Pittsburgh” project. 

She is not only a community organizer and activist, but also a political strategist who has led, coordinated or influenced electoral campaigns such as Vote or Die!, America Votes and Young Professionals of Pittsburgh for Obama, local races for City Council, School Board, State Representative, Lt. Governor and Governor and coalitions such as the Human Rights Alliance of Pittsburgh (HRAP). 

La’Tasha has been honored as a 2009 Choice USA Excellence in Leadership Award recipient, 2010 honoree for the City of Pittsburgh’s History in the Making: Honoring Our Young African American Leaders of Today exhibit, 2010 New Pittsburgh Courier’s 50 Women of Excellence awardee, 2011 Public Allies Pittsburgh RISE Changemaker Award recipient, 2011 Grinnell College Social Justice Prize nominee and 2011 Athena Pittsburgh Young Professional Award nominee. She is a passionate Reproductive Justice activist and believes in the indefatigable spirit of women. 

New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice and friends are excited to join 182 countries around the world in participating in a global day of action to end violence against women, transwomen, genderqueer and gender non-conforming people.Will you join us for an energetic, colorful, dancing demonstration to celebrate women’s right for peace, dignity and lives free from violence? 

One Billion Rising Pittsburgh Event
Thursday, February 14 | 12noon – 2pm | Market Square 

On V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, 2.14.13, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. 

ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, and our solidarity across borders. For more details visit their website here.  

This was reported as a reproduction of PositvelyPittsburghLive news done by Joanne Quinn-Smith. (c) Joanne Quinn-Smith and PositivelyPittsburghLive(TM) 2013 All rights reserved.

Tara Darazio is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent copywriter, blogger, article writer, and social media strategist. If you are in need of writing assistance, or need help with your social media efforts connect with Tara on LinkedIn here.

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