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Nos Amis/Our Friends, Inc.
Children Helping Poor and
Homeless People (CHPHP)
2554 Lincoln Blvd., #522
Venice, CA 90291
Phone:  (310) 840-4777
Phone:  (800) 333-4349

CHPHP Newsletter

Volume 2, Issue 7

September 14, 2003



Gary and Katherine

Our Friend, Gary

In 1987, when he was 6 years old, Patrick and his sister, Chrissy, then 8, co-founded CHPHP with their mother. On Friday, September 5th, Patrick celebrated his 23rd Birthday!
      Over lunch, we congratulated Patrick and took this happy occasion to discuss the status of CHPHP which will celebrate its 17th birthday on December 17th of this year - the same birth date as its Co-Director, Ron Taylor. Obviously, it was a day of joy and reflection.
      And then at 11pm, we were told that our wonderful friend, Gary Gottesfeld, had lost his battle with pancreatic cancer and had died. And on September 5th. Our wonderful friend, Gary had made it very easy for us to remember him. Gary always made things easier for everyone.
      For over three and a half years, every Monday, Gary drove from the Valley, arriving early at the CHPHP Storage Area, coffee in hand, eager to know, "Who's coming today?" Together, we had great fun checking the schedule for participating schools and groups as we prepared the site for the CHPHP Routes for Homeless People.
      However, Gary really became animated when our first volunteers came. Gary enjoyed welcoming everyone - new and experienced volunteers alike. He shared very special friendships with each of us, including Katherine, pictured above.
      Among the many ways Gary worked with us, he choose to guide our volunteers with special needs. Quietly demonstrating the task at hand, Gary beamed as he and his charges spoke, laughed and shared the experience of folding napkins and placing them on top of paper plates in the bins.
      One day, shortly after Gary started working with CHPHP, we noticed that our Brown Bags Size #8 had run out and sitting where they had been were Brown Bags Size #12. We wondered why we had purchased the wrong size bag for our work. When we discovered that the Size #12 bags were so much stronger than the #8s, we thought we had definitely done the right thing. And another bonus - the #12s never ran out. We always had them in stock!
      It was quite some time before we saw Gary bring a new batch of 500 Size #12 bags and we were able to put it all together. He would bring the Brown Bags as well as a box of 1,000 plastic grocery bags - ongoing, without being asked, without being noticed. Just easily. Helping all the time without the need for a Thank You!
      During his vacation, Gary even called from the airport on his way to France to tell us that he had brought bags and had put them under the green hamper so that we would be sure to have them during his week away!
     Gary participated in all aspects of the CHPHP Routes for Homeless People. He served as a Coordinator for the Park Team as well as the Beach Team supervising the participating youth and assisting the adults. Gary was concerned for the children, teens and adults we serve - they were his friends! He did all he could for each person.
      For example, one Monday, Gary brought "The Professor", a Viet Nam veteran with longish hair, special shampoo and conditioner. The Professor was most grateful for Gary's thoughtfulness.
      The following week, The Professor told Gary that the shampoo was great and that he had washed his car with it. The Professor was truly delighted when Gary, smiling from ear to ear, agreed that the shampoo had done wonders for his car!
     Gary shared our vision for CHPHP - a CHPHP Volunteer Center where youth and adults could work more often helping even greater numbers of people in need. He used to say, "We've got to get a Center!"
      So, it is with Gary in mind that we ask for your help in making the CHPHP Volunteer Center a reality.
      Gary Gottesfeld was an outstanding man, husband and father. He was an accomplished and published writer of mysteries and gave of himself to help young writers. And Gary will always be a part of CHPHP.
      Thank you, Dear Friend. We love you, Gary!

CHPHP Volunteer Center

By Ellen
Our dream is to buy and maintain a building which will be a center for all of our volunteers to come and provide services for the poor and homeless people within our community.

Our unique center will be a collection place for clothes, food and other household items. Our volunteers will sort and place the items in our sorting wall, food pantry or thrift shop. Other volunteers will come and distribute the items to people in need within our community.

Our center will provide space for our mentoring, peer tutoring and literacy programs. Volunteers will work one on one with poor and homeless shelter children and will tutor them in school subjects.

Our center will schedule cultural programs such as concerts or performances by one of the schools/groups/individuals. The residents of homeless shelters will be invited to enjoy uplifting entertainment.

Our center will provide space for a library, law center, job finding center, audio visual room, arts and crafts room and nursery to be used by our volunteers and residents of homeless shelters.

Presently, there is no volunteer center where students, teachers and parents can come on any given day to help their community. Isn't it time we create one? We can't do this alone. Call or email us with your ideas and contributions. You can be part of this one of a kind experience.


Initiate...means to go about the initial steps in doing a task. Our task is to develop a volunteer center. Following are some practical steps you can take to make our center happen.

Corporate Sponsorship: A yearly grant for the startup and maintenance of the CHPHP Volunteer Center. Amount will go into a general fund or can be earmarked for any one of our programs:

Collection Programs include: Routes for Homeless People, Outreach Program for People in Need, Thrift Shop, Holiday Gift Basket Program, Animal Outreach Program.

Improvement Programs include: Mentoring, Arts and Crafts Program, Peer Tutoring Program, Peer Computer Training Program, Literacy Program, Job Tracking and Placement Program.

Cultural Programs include: Theater Program, Concert Program, Library, Law Center.

Small Business Profit Sharing: If you own a small business you can link your web site to ours. Our website will feature a section called Shop CHPHP. Our many volunteers can purchase your product or services and in turn you will donate a percentage of the item cost to CHPHP. Contact us at chphp@earthlink.net to discuss the possibilities.

Personal Event Fundraising: You can organize a yard sale, block yard sale, lemon-aid stand or bake sale in your neighborhood or school and donate profits to the start-up cost of our Volunteer Center. Contact us at chphp@earthlink.net to discuss the possibilities.

Donations can be earmarked for your particular interest or program. It's our hope that you will maintain your interest in that program and eventually be one of our volunteers making it happen in our Volunteer Center. Donations are tax deductible. If everyone does their part, our Volunteer Center will be build and together, we can work to help the poor and homeless children and adults in our community.

Did You Know?  

In 2001, the total population in the United States was 277,017,622 with 33,419,993 people living in poverty. Percentage in poverty: 12.1%.

In 2002, the total population in the United States was 280,540,330 with 34,763,085 people living in poverty. Percentage in poverty: 12.4%.

"Highlights from the Census on Poverty" by The Associate Press, September 3, 2003. Source: U.S. Census Bureau


Wisdom is knowing what to do next;
Virtue is doing it.
  -David Star Jordan

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