Diablo Magazine > Threads of Hope

Each holiday season, Diablo Magazine (Walnut Creek, California) recognizes a few East Bay residents who gave selflessly. These do-gooders are honored for changing the community for the better—whether it’s collecting clothes for the needy, feeding the hungry, or volunteering tirelessly.  (The article, "Threads of Hope", was written/edited by Peter Crooks, who will be heavily paraphrased and hacked up in this post.  Love ya, Pete!)  I was honored to be asked by Art Director, Roger Gurbani to shoot this.

Carol Weyland Conner:  White Pony Express

Carol Weyland Conner:  White Pony Express

Conner's "White Pony Express" distributes food to the needy that supermarkets would otherwise be throwing away.  To distribute the food, White Pony Express has created an impressive and intricately organized system. Goods are separated by each shelter’s needs. Some facilities don’t have a kitchen, so they prefer premade sandwiches and food that doesn’t require on-site prep. Other locations need fresh produce and dairy products, so White Pony Express makes sure those items are delivered in refrigerated trucks.  Conner is a former psychologist and leader of Sufism Reoriented, a spiritual order headquartered in Walnut Creek. She created White Pony Express in 2013, as her city was planning its centennial anniversary for the following year.  ::::  Carol's calm, quiet demeanor on set was such a contrast to her ambitiously aggressive mission.

David Smith:  Rossmoor Fund

David Smith:  Rossmoor Fund

After moving into Walnut Creek’s Rossmoor retirement community, Smith was dismayed to learn that some of the residents occasionally found themselves in dire financial straits. So five years ago, he launched the Rossmoor Fund to help his neighbors deal with unexpected emergencies. The fund also provides legal seminars to help seniors with a range of issues, including learning about elder abuse.  ::::  David was ever so humble - shrugging off all his accomplishments, including rounding up support and opening up the first library in San Ramon.  I was flattered to learn later that this was the best shot of himself he'd ever seen.  :-)

Elaine Taylor:  The Taylor Family Foundation (Recipient of "The Visionary Award")

Elaine Taylor:  The Taylor Family Foundation (Recipient of "The Visionary Award")

Thousands of families have benefited from the efforts of The Taylor Family Foundation, which Taylor and her late husband, Barry, cofounded to help families affected by pediatric AIDS. Beginning with a Day in the Park fundraiser held in their Lafayette backyard in 1990, the foundation has raised more money and helped more kids each year. In 2001, the foundation helped implement the creation of Camp Arroyo, a state-of-the-art facility in Livermore that offers free summer camp programs to children with a wide range of serious illnesses and disabilities.  She even has a sleep-away Celiac Camp program - catering to the kid's sensitive dietary needs.  ::::  As with the other award recipients, Elaine was only interested in the attention the award brought to her programs, not so much herself.  But she was a delight to behold.  Kind, kind, soul.

Visit the official Mitch Tobias Photographer website:  http://www.mitchtobias.com