About Our Organization
"We believe every child is special...."
Special Angels Foundation is a charitable organization devoted to making the world a better place through various initiatives and fundraiser programs designed specifically to help families of special needs children. We focus on families with children who have developmental disabilities. We believe every child is special and we support their parents' dream of providing a happy, successful, independent, and fulfilled life for their child or children. Parents of children with special needs have the same hopes and dreams for their child, yet their future is not as clear. In the United States, 18.5% of children under the age of 18 are children with special needs. This is no indication they are not smart, talented, or capable; it means they have specific challenges that other children do not face.
WE have learned that there are four primary types of disabilities that children encounter: Developmental Disabilities, Sensory Disabilities, Physical Disabilities, and Behavioral/Emotional Disabilities. Statistics show that 14% of American children, between the ages of 13 and 17, have a developmental disability. Grasping the severity of these facts, Special Angels Foundation developed a MISSION & and a VISION along with a list of CORE VALUES as we endeavour to help as many special needs children as possible.
Our Mission & Vision
Our MISSION is to provide support in obtaining therapies, equipment and resources to families raising children with special needs. Our VISION is to seek to empower families who are raising children with special needs to enable their child to thrive and grow towards independence.
OUR CORE VALUES
Bringing Hope to the World.
Special Angels Foundation is guided by "CORE VALUES" that guide the organizations Board of Directors, staff and volunteers.
The core values are as follows:
Being a Vital Role in Our Community:
We make providing support, both financially and through shared resources and referrals to families raising children with special needs our continuous focus.
We are committed to careful stewardship of all human and financial resources. This means we use carefully the time and talents of those working with the organization and spend wisely the funds invested by donors into our organization.
Innovation and Sense of Home:
We believe we create a better future for children with special needs through innovation and societal change. This sense of hope leads to approaches and new practices that have a positive impact on the treatment of and lifestyles of children with special needs and their families.
We celebrate, respect and include all children with special needs and their families no matter what their culture, geographic regions, religion or political view.
Integrity and Accountability:
We remain effective in achieving our mission and stay accountable to all our stakeholders who are the families raising children with special needs, our constituents, donors, board, staff, volunteers, strategic partners and the greater community. We believe in modeling this trustworthiness and integrity that earns the public’s high regard for our organization. This reflects an alignment between what we say, what we do and how we do it.
We strive to create an environment in which all stakeholders (children with special needs, their families, medical practitioners, donors, strategic partners and the public) feel heard, respected and supported.
We believe that it is important to recognize the value of the organizations work by investing in the organization and our people; this includes providing learning opportunities for board members, volunteers and staff.
Meet The Team
Founder & Chair
From October 1981 to June 1990, Crystal worked for Los Angeles Unified School District as a School Secretary then she enrolled in the UCLA Extension program and became a Regional Occupational teacher. Later she moved to San Bernardino County and was hired as a Regional Occupational Teacher for Rialto Unified School District for 20 years. After that she was hired as a Multiple Subjects teacher for Yucaipa Calimesa Unified School District and worked as an Alternative Educational teacher. Presently, she worked as a Special Education and General Education teacher for the Juvenile Detention Center in San Bernardino, California. Crystal's recent retirement will allow her to dedicate more time towards supporting our special needs community. Crystal background and experience in teaching along with personnel procedures have equipped her with a wealth of knowledge in the education institution. She provides academic instruction to At-Risk students experiencing academic, behavioral and/or social deficits. She develops teaching methods and instructional materials appropriate to the needs of the students. In addition,she provides education services to special education students that assess students' needs to implement program and academic goals. She also works with methodologies and programs for disabled children with behavioral issues.
Co-Founder & Vice Chair
In November 1989, Gary joined the Los Angeles Fire Department where he started his career as a Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician where he served with integrity and pride. After 4 years as a Firefighter, Gary was promoted to the position of Fire Inspector. The Fire Inspector promotion allowed him to develop his communication, organization and public relation skills. These traits allow Gary to better serve the public. In 2010, Gary was promoted to Fire Captain where he is currently able to educate the public about fire life safety. In his position as captain, he understands the importance of teamwork, compassion and confidence. Gary's recent retirement will allow him to dedicate more time supporting children with special needs. Gary's background and experience in public service along with his entrepreneurial endeavors has given him a working knowledge of the public needs. In 2000, Gary started a Video Surveillance company that is still in existence today. This experience has been valuable because it has given Gary the opportunity to understand the business climate and provide technical guidance to the general public. He has a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the University of Santa Clara.
My Name is Lisa McKenzie, I have 8 years Finance and Accounting experience. I am currently a Church Business Manager, and I have 23 years as a Business Administrator for our Landscape Sole Proprietor. I also worked as a Traffic Officer for 26 years for the City of Los Angeles. I retired from the City of Los Angeles after 33 years of service. My family, faith, morals, and integrity are my strongest assets. I am a Christian, wife, and a mother of 3 beautiful children. My goal is to lend my support to the Special Angel Foundation as they continue to bring compassion for special needs individuals across America. I believe in what they do. I can contribute with my experience in accounting, computer skills, knowledge of non-profit organizations, and with my compassion and love for special needs children, for as long as God allows me. Thank you for this opportunity and your belief in me.
From I am a native Californian, raised in South Central Los Angeles in the late 1950's. A mother of 2 adult children, and 1 grandson. Hands down, they are my pride and joy. I attend Abundant Living Family Church in Rancho Cucamonga, where I serve on The Dream Team as an Usher; and I participate in various other church outreach activities. I graduated from the University of La Verne Paralegal Certificate Program in 1993. As an Intellectual Property Paralegal for a total of 22 years, I've worked for Sunkist Growers, Inc. in Ontario; Myers, Dawes & Andres, LLP; and Graham James Law Firm, both in Costa Mesa; and Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Corona. Under the direct supervision of the Attorney, I managed the complex preparation, from discovery to registration phase, for the company's complete portfolio of patents and trademarks. And I maintained the docketing system for 200+customers. I've been a California Notary Public since August 2000 and a Certified Background Screened Notary Signing Agent since 2009. In 2011, I started my Mobile Notary Business working with major Escrow and Title companies, as well as doing general notary work for the public. I am a Financial Advisor for World Financial Group working as a Life and Health Insurance Agent in California.
Medical Advisory Chair
Dr. Oyemade is not just a pediatrician but is also a nephrology specialist who caters to the health of kidneys. Dr. Oyemade is also being honored for his dedication to improving population health through physician-led and patient-centered, integrated healthcare, a board ce11ified Pediatrician who has dedicated over 40 years of practice to give families a secure environment where they can get treated for common illnesses such as colds and the flu. Dr. Oyemade is the Recipient of the Patients' Choice Award, 2008, the Compassionate Doctor Recognition, 2009-2012 and the 2013 Humanitarian Health. Dr. OlusolaA. Oyemade, M.D., MPH, F.A.A.P - Chair of Medical Advisory Committee Pediatrician and Pediatric Nephrology
I am Janelle Clignett. I have been a Registered Nurse 12 years. I have spent time working oncology , hospice and ICU. I have been working in pediatrics for the insurance company for the past 9 years specializing in critical care and special needs children. I am familiar with all local resources and covered benefits of insurance, regional center , mental health, and CCS in the state of California. I have been a resident of Rancho Cucamonga area for 35 years. I have provided nursing care within this community for 10 years. I am a mom of 2 boys.
Esther Alexander has been an entrepreneur for more than 45 years in the Inland Empire and Los Angeles areas. She has been a licensed tax preparer for more than 30 years. Her areas of expertise cover a wide range, including typesetting and printing needs, event decorating, DVD presentations; she calls herself "SecretaryPlus." With a genuine desire to help and serve, which are her gifts, Esther manages to get the job done, when and where necessary. Esther proudly serves as Secretary for Special Angels Foundation, Inc. She is a member of National Council of Negro Women Inc., The Rialto Black History Committee Inc., and Decades of Excellence Inc. She has served as Board Member and Secretary of the Center for the Empowerment of Families Inc., a non-profit organization. In addition, she has served as Treasurer for Temple Missionary Baptist Church. Estherisa 30-year member of Loveland Church in Fontana where she has served in many ministries and is presently active in the Adult Choir and Bereavement Ministry. Esther is a wife of 32 years, mother of three, grandmother of six, and loves nothing more than her family time. Nothing makes Esther happier than helping to meet the needs of others.
As an award-winning photo journalist with more than 20 years of experience in contract photography, videography and on-location news photo journalism, (both newspaper and TV), Glenn A. Loveless believes every photo and video production he creates represents a slice of history and as such should be approached with ultimate care and attention. A New York City native, Glenn is based in Southern California, but willing to travel when and where his photography is needed. Glenn Loveless is the recipient of two regional Emmy Awards, a Golden Viddy Award and an Associated Press Award and has had four regional Emmy nominations for his work with ABC and CBS TV news affiliates. His talent and work has appeared in numerous newspapers and national magazines, as well as on public broadcasting stations and CNN.
Sebrenia Burt has been a Postal Worker for 34 years, a part time Traffic Officer for the City of Los Angeles since 2011 and a seasonal worker at the Los Angels County Fair since 2016. She will be retiring from her occupations in order to dedicate more of her time to Special Angels Foundation. She is a member of Loveland Church since 2007. She has participated in several ministries such as Theater, Heath Ministry related to Domestic Violence and Breast Cancer, Prayer Room and the first and only woman in the Wall Ministry. She is no stranger dealing with disabilities. Her sister was born with seizure disorder and a granddaughter diagnosed with high functional autism. Spending precious time with her granddaughter has taught her so much about autism and how to love past any one disability. One of her favorite past time is riding her bike she named, "Pinky". Bre and "Pinky"has a comedic relationship. Keeping people laughing about the little things in life. Sebrenia believes the best things God ever created were grandkids and a heart to love.
Meet Mario Franklin, a distinguished figure in the sports performance realm, boasting a remarkable 25+ years of expertise. With a profound understanding of kinesiology and the human body, he possesses an unparalleled ability to hone in on the unique fitness aspirations of every athlete. Mario's unyielding ambition to guide athletes of all ages led him to establish UPEC Fitness—a haven where physical and mental growth converge to propel athletes toward excellence. Having embarked on his own athletic journey as a young football player, Mario discovered a newfound passion in golf. Through relentless dedication, he honed the essential attributes—Speed, Strength, Flexibility, Accuracy & Distance—essential for success in the sport. What sets Mario apart is not only his extensive professional acumen but also his personal connection to the cause. His niece and nephew, who bravely navigate life with cerebral palsy, have instilled in him a profound dedication to the Special Angels Foundation. As a recent addition to the foundation's board, Mario's heartwarming commitment resonates deeply.