Category: News

2016 Annual Appeal – Young & Healthy Celebrates the Children of Our Community!


Jasmine is a bright young girl who began fourth grade at a new school this year. Jasmine adjusted well to her new school, friends and teacher during the first several weeks. However, as the holidays approached, her teacher began to notice a change in Jasmine’s behavior. Jasmine, an otherwise well-tempered girl, was suddenly crying a lot and sometimes uncooperative in class. Strangely, she even exhibited moments of aggression and depression that nobody could understand.

Luckily, Jasmine’s teacher had attended a Young & Healthy sponsored training on Trauma Informed Care. The teacher came to suspect that, for some reason, the holidays were an emotional trigger. As it turns out, Jasmine lost her mother to cancer and was being raised by a distant relative. It became very clear that Jasmine’s behavior was due to the emotional stress brought on by her family trauma. The holidays were exacerbating the situation.

Trauma Informed Care has made a significant impression on Young & Healthy. We have already started to educate and provide the necessary tools to teachers in the community who are in a position to make a difference in supporting these traumatized kids, while building their resilience. We have seen first-hand how many children in our community suffer from trauma such as divorce, death, alcohol or drug abuse, neglect, violence in the home, etc. Young & Healthy is committed to being a Trauma Informed Care agency and will add additional services which embrace the sensitivity needed to bring overall wellness to our families.

Young & Healthy continues to provide needed medical, dental and mental health services via our professional volunteers. But, we will also bring sensitivity training, insight and skill building techniques to educators so that together we can create a path of calm and resilience. Our work of empathy and sensitivity will come in the form of:
• A pair of eyeglasses so that a child is able to do his homework and focus in the classroom
• Trauma Informed Care training for the teachers at our schools
• Surgery for a child who needs tubes in her ears to stop reoccurring ear infections
• A referral to a dentist to fill painful cavities

We have the opportunity to be brokers of hope for those who need help. It is our hope that you will join us in embracing our new endeavor to care for the whole child and in continuing to serve the underserved such that we may strengthen our community overall.

Thank you for your generosity,

Darrell Done
Young & Healthy Board President

Mary Donnelly-Crocker
Executive Director

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A Look at Trauma Informed Care

Thank you to Lila Guirguis for her comments and enthusiasm regarding Young & Healthy’s first Trauma Informed Care training held on October 10 at Huntington Hospital.  Lila wrote:

Yesterday many of the partners of Collaborate PASadena were fortunate to attend Part 1 of 4 trainings on Trauma Informed Care hosted by Young and Healthy at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena and facilitated by Matt Bennett from the Coldspring Center for Social & Health Innovation.
It was a fantastic training, but even better was the diversity of the leadership in the room, from Pasadena Unified School District staff, City of Pasadena, the Pasadena Library, many local nonprofit agencies and nurses and doctors of Huntington Hospital, at least 100 people attended!
So much of what was discussed was about our own personal narrative, what shapes and molds us into the individuals we are today especially looking at the brain science behind our behaviors, our choices and social and emotional health. We were led through conversations that helped us, in our small table discussions, and as a larger group, think about the clients, patients, young children and students and community we work with and reflect “what ways we have seen trauma negatively impact people’s lives and ability to thrive”.

One thing Mary Donnelly-Crocker, Executive Director of Young and Healthy, ended with was let’s make Pasadena a Trauma Informed City! It was a call to action, to policy and especially awareness of this important research. As the new Staff Lead of the Office of the Young Child for the City of Pasadena, I left inspired to support the dissemination of this information to many I have worked with and will be working with.

I leave you with this short video on Empathy vs. Sympathy Published on Dec 10, 2013….In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us what is the best way to ease someone’s pain and suffering? We can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.


Lila Guirguis

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Join the Young & Healthy Alliance

The Young & Healthy Alliance is a newly established group of dedicated individuals who believe in investing in our community’s future by providing all children access to quality healthcare.  Their mission is to offer philanthropic support, community outreach and unique resources to Young & Healthy.  The Alliance is the multi-generational, social wing of Young & Healthy, designed to raise awareness of the vital need for programs and services in a casual, fun atmosphere.  In addition to fun social events, each Young & Healthy Alliance program year will culminate in an invitation to join us for a unique first-hand volunteer experience at the annual Mobile Dental Clinic.

A branch of the Young & Healthy Alliance is the Kids’ Alliance.  The Kids’ Alliance is a volunteer group open to all children of Alliance members.  The Kids’ Alliance is a fun and social way to introduce our next generation of volunteers to the satisfaction associated with service, starting with supporting our Mobile Dental Clinic.  Our inaugural Kids’ Alliance co-directors are Asher and Mia Singla, a 5th grade brother- sister dynamic duo whose enthusiasm sparked the idea for the Kids’ Alliance.

Participating in the Mobile Dental Clinic is transformative.  Each year, for one week, Young & Healthy provides kids in need of dental care with access to comprehensive dental services in a single, convenient location set up just for them.  If you have not seen the clinic in action, there is no better way to experience the vital work of Young Healthy in an up-close, personal and meaningful way.

We invite you to become a member of the Alliance this year.  Annual Memberships are available (July-June).  Please contact the Young & Healthy office at 626-795-5166 for additional information.  Ask to speak to Jan or Teresa.  Or email us at or


Mobile Dental Clinic 2016

The Young & Healthy 2016 Mobile Dental Clinic was held February 5-12 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Pasadena. The USC Ostrow School of Dentistry was there with its dental vans and a crew a fabulous dentists to provide over 110 Pasadena area children with needed dental services. “Many of our visitors, including teens, saw a dentist for the first time,” commented Mary Donnelly-Crocker.  This year, Young & Healthy’s ALLIANCE group, including parents and their children, were on-hand on Saturday to do arts and crafts with the children waiting for appointments and to prepare and serve a brown bag lunch to all in attendance, including patients, their families, and community and professional volunteers. Several other volunteer groups also partnered with Young & Healthy on Saturday, including National Charity League Pasadena, Pasadena Lion’s Club with their mobile vision & hearing van, Pasadena Library, Pasadena Public Health, Los Angeles County Public Health, Huntington Hospital, Charles J. Korth O.D., and the Pasadena HEAR Center. MCF_2408resized MCF_2543resized MCF_2611resized MCF_2833resized MCF_2457resized