Two of our grantors offered H.E.L.P. emergency relief funds during the pandemic, which made it possible for H.E.L.P. to continue to provide programs for seniors and also take on more essential services during this time.
The McMillen Family Foundation
In recent years H.E.L.P. has had the opportunity to partner with the McMillen Family Foundation in developing a program for seniors who are confronting substance abuse issues. Problems with opioids often start with the use of pain medicine after surgery without follow-up or monitoring, or being erroneously prescribed opioids for chronic pain rather than a less addictive alternative. Likewise, cocktail hour alcohol use can spiral out of control with depression or loneliness experienced after losing longtime friends or spouse.
Just when it was needed most, the McMillen Family Foundation provided an additional generous emergency pandemic relief grant to H.E.L.P. in support of continued staffing of our substance abuse awareness program for seniors and their families. During the pandemic, when most people spent many months isolated in their homes, drug and alcohol use was seen to increase exponentially. The Thelma McMillen Center for Chemical Dependency Treatment was established in 2003 at Torrance Memorial Medical Center with a $5.3 million grant by Karl B. McMillen Jr. in memory of his wife, Thelma McMillen. This gift allowed a significant expansion to Torrance Memorial’s successful chemical dependency program. Dr. Morris Gelbart, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Center, said, “We are in the business of changing lives. Our goal is to treat the whole person, not just the addiction.” Their caring counseling services can help seniors find renewed meaning in their lives and guide them to better choices. Through our McMillen partnership, H.E.L.P. can direct those who need it to substance abuse counseling and additional treatment when needed. We are grateful for this generous grant.