Visionary, Community Organizer, Philosopher
“I feel so much love; that means I am gettin’ better. Tell someone you love them and you will get better too! Walking by with a smile. Leave me a message.”
What would you do if the State Franchise Tax Board threatened to revoke your 501c3 non-profit status? Would you jump on the next bus/train/plane to Sacramento to fight to maintain the designation of your organization? What if you were confined to a wheelchair and were undergoing dialysis three times a week?
In that case, maybe not. Dorothea made the arduous 400 mile trek a couple of weeks ago. Unsurprisingly, she saved her non-profit status.
It has been nearly 12 years since she underwent quintuple bypass surgery and around the same time she began dialysis treatment for failing kidneys. Doctors estimated that she only had a few years to live, but they underestimated the power of the will to survive and the desire to be of service to the community.
The list of projects over the years that she has been involved with is impressive. For example, a few years ago a close friend suffered a massive stroke and as a result was unable to continue to earn a living as a chef. Through Dorothea’s non-profit Interpersonal Development Facilitators, Inc., he was able to find supportive housing and physical therapy.
For many years she has helped with the coordination of the Worcester Ave./Madison Neighborhood Posada. Hundreds of community members have participated in this holiday tradition which ends with tamales and donated toys for neighborhood children. One year she even expanded this event to a local Buddhist monastery and rather than give presents to the children, the monks handed gifts to grandparents so that they would be able to give their grandkids something for Christmas.
In addition, she is a fixture at Pasadena Media KPAS/PCAC where she hosts a TV show each month and invites talented and inspiring people to share their stories with her dedicated TV audience.
Always thinking about those in need, Dorothea has two significant projects in the development pipeline. First of all, she has recognized the challenges that disabled vets returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have in securing housing. With this difficult issue to overcome she wants to develop an independent living facility for them that is also staffed by veterans.
Her other brilliant idea is to construct a mobile dialysis machine that can be used to enable patients to better enjoy the country’s incredible national parks. If these mobile units were placed at some of the parks then patients would not have to seek clinics or hospitals adjacent to them, but could undergo treatment close to Yosemite Falls or Old Faithful or Crater Lake.
We all consider what it means to give back to society, to be a valuable member of the community, to leave a mark. The Power of One is the desire to help others navigate the uncertain waters of life; to possibly ease suffering or pain, or to inspire through acts of generosity without expectation of recompense. These concepts are manifested in Dorothea’s essence: “Tell someone you love them and you will get better too!”