Dee Johnson

Executive Director, Lend a Hand Foundation
February 22, 2008 1:03:14 PM PST
Dee Johnson, whose experience with youth includes being a devoted parent of two, a former foster parent for nine years, community volunteer, and a mentor, founded the Lend A Hand Foundation in 1997.

She started the organization with little or no funds. In order to provide as many services as possible to inner-city youth and their families, she held several fundraisers such as fish fries, raffles, and sought donations from individuals to provide the resources needed to meet the goals of the organization. Her first mission of love in 1998 was to provide over 100 youth at the Henry Robinson Multi-Service Center with Easter Baskets that she and other volunteers prepared. Today, the organization has grown to a 15-Member Board of Directors with 8 Advisory Board Members.

Dee has managed the day-to-day operations of this organization since 1997. The organization has grown tremendously and is being recognized all over the county and more. Dee is known for her dedication, passion, determination and organizational skills. She has developed many good relationships with not only the people the organization serves but also the supporters.

Now eight years ago, the organization developed an Annual Back to School Giveaway. The support grew from 200 in 2001 to 3,200 in 2006. In August of 2007, the organization provided over 5,000 youth with a backpack filled with school supplies and is looking forward to repeating the same or increasing the number depending on the support received this year. The organization also holds and Annual Christmas Celebration for Youth and their families, a Teen Talk Program, a Scholarship Program and supports as many youth efforts as possible.

Dee along with the organization has received numerous awards and certificates of appreciation. Dee can never forget her past as a child and all the struggles her family had to go through in order to survive. Remembering them keeps her focused on the importance of helping others. She will never forget her roots and constantly thinks of ways to give back to her community. She has always loved children and says, "The kids need us?maybe next year we will be able to give more."

Some of the organizations recognitions are from the Bay Area Business Roundtable Spotlight Award from the Regional Technical Training Center; the Advocacy Award from the Coalition of 100 Black Women, Oakland Bay Area Chapter; the Excellence in Community Service Award from Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., the Community Service Award from the East Bay Leadership Foundation, and many more. LAHF was also acknowledged by ABC 7 who produced a segment saluting the efforts of the organization, which was shown on Christmas Eve 2004.

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