Love Packed in a Shoebox: Operation Christmas Child

By Mila Popov, Samaritan’s Purse International Relief  |  2019-11-07

Children around the world celebrate the holidays but many families live in bleak poverty. You can change that with Operation Christmas Child. Photo courtesy Operation Christmas Child

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - It’s that time, when colorful leaves cover the ground, and the aroma of pumpkin pie and spices are everywhere. Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are just around the corner. This is that joyful time of the year when we count our blessings around the Thanksgiving table, and enjoy the spirit of Christmas with family and friends as we unwrap beautiful carefully packed gifts.

Did you know that there are many children around the world, who have never received a gift in their life time? Did you know that there are children who are not able to go to school because they do not have their own pencil or notebook? Going to school means a lot more than getting an education. Often it means getting a meal at least once a day. The life of a child who had never experienced such blessings as having a new toy, their own drinking cup or even a toothbrush, is very difficult.

Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is one of many projects of the Samaritan’s Purse organization that delivers the Good News and Great Joy to children around the world. Simple shoebox gifts have life changing impact. Every child deserves to experience Christmas at least once in their lifetime.

In 2018 over 10.6 million shoeboxes were delivered to over 160 countries to the neediest children impacted by extreme poverty due to war, natural disasters and famine. These children live in homes with their family or in orphanages, from small villages to large cities.

By packing simple items such as toys, art and school supplies, and personal hygiene items, you can impact a child’s life and give hope to children in hopeless life conditions. Would you join us in packing one shoebox for a boy and/or one for a girl? 

Here is how you can pack a shoebox: (1) Start with an average-size cardboard or plastic shoebox. If you want to wrap it, cover the box and lid separately. (2) Decide whether you will pack a box for a girl or a boy, in the age category: 2–4 years, 5–9 years, or 10–14 years. (3) Select a medium to large “wow” item such as a soccer ball with pump, a doll or stuffed animal, then fill with other fun toys, hygiene items, and art and school supplies. Dollar stores, Walmart and Target have many inexpensive items.

If you wish, include a personal note with a family picture and words of encouragement. (4) Donate $9 online and receive a label to Follow Your Box and discover the country destination of your shoebox gift. (5) Take your shoebox gift(s) to a local drop-off location during National Collection Week, Nov. 18–25, 2019. 

Drop off locations are: Fair Oaks Presbyterian; Bayside Life Rancho Cordova; Metro Calvary, Roseville; Bayside Church Folsom and Second Slavic Baptist, North Highlands.  For address and drop off times go to:  

For more information contact Mila 916-308-8360 or

Thank you for making a Big Impact on a child's life! Happy Holidays! 

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El Camino Center for The Arts Named Best In Real Estate 2019

San Juan Unified School District  |  2019-11-07

San Juan Unified Assistant Superintendent of Facilities, Maintenance & Transportation Frank Camarda speaks about the real estate value of the arts center. Courtesy SJUSD

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - The El Camino Fundamental High School Center for the Arts was named by the Sacramento Business Journal as the top real estate development project (education category) in the Greater Sacramento region.

San Juan Unified was honored along with the project’s design-build contractor McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and architect HGA Architects at an awards breakfast Sept. 20 at McClellan Conference Center.

The Center for the Arts – a 14,000-square-foot, 500-seat theater with a full stage, control center, lobby, and orchestra pit – stood out among other education projects in large part because it was the district’s first design-build project. With design-build, contractors, and architects bid for a construction project as an entity based on qualifications. The design-build method has not historically been utilized by K-12 school districts in California.

“San Juan Unified is a pioneer here, not only in Sacramento County but Northern California,” Frank Camarda, San Juan Unified Assistant Superintendent, told the Business-Journal. “Most other districts have not caught on.”
The design-build benefit for El Camino was that San Juan Unified was able to bring on a team of HGA and McCarthy, both of which have extensive experience designing performing arts spaces with a high emphasis on acoustics and lighting. 

“It had to have the highest acoustical sound rating you could get in a high school theater,” Camarda said.
Other real estate projects to be honored by the Sacramento Business Journal include The Bank restaurant (downtown Sacramento), Elk Grove Aquatics Center, Sutter Medical Foundation West Roseville Campus, The Hardin (downtown Sacramento), Bennett’s Kitchen-Bar Market and the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium restoration project among others. 
The Center of the Arts was funded by Measure N as El Camino’s high school signature project. Along with the Sacramento Business Journal award, it has also received an Honor Award from the Concrete Masonry Association of California and Nevada and a Construction Management Association of America Design-Build Award.

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Famous YouTube Personality Dave Rubin to Speak at Sac State

By Kyle Gerard, Turning Point USA  |  2019-11-07

YouTube personality and political commentator Dave Rubin. Turning Point USA

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento State chapter of Turning Point USA will be hosting famous YouTube personality and political commentator Dave Rubin. Having built The Rubin Report, a channel with over 1 million followers and upwards of 200 million views, Dave Rubin has become a significant figure in the political world. He is famous for pushing the idea that “he didn’t leave the left, the left left him.” At Sacramento State, Rubin will be discussing the consequences of big tech censorship in the modern era along with the dangers of identity politics. As a gay married man, Rubin has been the victim of identity politics for not fitting in and knows how ugly identity politics are for being a classic liberal. For this reason, The Rubin Report celebrates free speech, civil discourse, and honest ideas.

Dave Rubin will be speaking on the Sacramento State campus on Tuesday, November 12th from 7:30 – 10:00PM. The event will take place in the Redwood suite of the University Union, located on the first floor. Tickets are free to the public through Eventbrite. Parking Structure II located by the Union is the recommended place for parking the night of the event.

“We expect Rubin to define what it truly means to be a minority, being an individual in an era of groupthink and censorship. We are proud to be hosting a renowned speaker,” said Chapter President Megan Masten.

Turning Point USA is the nation’s largest and fastest growing conservative youth organization. Learn more at

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Trunk or Treating is One of Childhood’s Most Vivid Moments

By Patrick Larenas    |  2019-11-07

A Halo soldier, a Skeletor, a clown and a dancer provided Halloween at Hagan Community with lively characters to surprise and spook everyone. Photo by Rick Sloan

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Hosted by the Cordova Recreation and Park District, residents got to participate in the fun of children Trunk or Treating at Hagan Community Park this past October 26.

Trunk or Treating at Hagan was a great setting for the community to engage in Halloween Festivities in a controlled and safe environment. Adult participants made a special effort to provide haunting scenes to spook and surprise everyone with sighs and laughter.

Being the main yearly event when children get to dress up, Halloween once again provided a vivid and interesting occasion for kids to use their imagination. Kids got to ‘act out’ a wide assortment of clowns, skeletons, dancers and other lively characters that make these childhood events such a fun part of early life. The candy, of course, would not stop dispensing as children employed the trademark “Trick or Treat” tactic.

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Annual Dinner & Business Awards Salute Regional Business Leaders for Their Achievements

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – Local businessman, investor and philanthropist Kevin Nagle, has been named the 2019 Sacramentan of the Year by the Sacramento Metro Chamber for his commitment to the growth of the Capital Region, and his role in ensuring Major League Soccer will have a home in Sacramento. As a business leader, he co-founded Envision Pharmaceutical Holdings, the fifth largest prescription benefit manager nationally, before it was acquired by the Rite Aid Corporation. Now he serves as the owner and president of the Nagle Company, which is actively engaged in real estate development, venture capital, and private equity. 

Most recently, Mr. Nagle took a lead role in steering the ultimately successful bid to bring Major League Soccer to the region, with plans to develop a 20,000-seat soccer-specific stadium, sparking development in The Railyards. He is also an investor in the Sacramento Kings, and was instrumental in keeping the team in Sacramento.

Along with Mr. Nagle, the Metro Chamber will honor James Beckwith of Five Star Bank as Businessman of the Year, and Patricia Rodriguez of Kaiser Permanente as Businesswoman of the Year at the Metro Chamber’s 125th Annual Dinner & Business Awards at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento Friday, January 31.

Hosted first in 1895, the Annual Dinner & Business Awards is the Metro Chamber’s longest running event. Since its inception, business leaders, community stakeholders and members come together annually to salute board leadership, recognize the changemakers in our region, and celebrate the Capital Region. This year, Alex Taghavian of Capitol Impact will conclude his term as Board Chair and install Leigh White of Fox40 as the 2020 Board Chair.

“When the region needed an advocate, Kevin stepped up without hesitation. He has answered the call to energize and invigorate our business community around two franchises that our community loves,” said Metro Chamber President & CEO Amanda Blackwood. “As business leaders, these three exceptional individuals demonstrate that Sacramento is an incredible place to live and thrive, and we are excited to recognize their contributions to the Capital Region.”

Nearly a thousand members of the community are expected to attend as the Metro Chamber honors these three and the following outstanding leaders and businesses for their ongoing contributions to the region:

  • Small Business of the Year to Honey
  • Business Hall of Fame Award to Salvation Army
  • Al Geiger Memorial Award to Debra Oto-Kent of Health Education Council
  • Peter McCuen Award for Civic Entrepreneurs to Bill Mueller of Valley Vision
  • and Metro EDGE Young Professional of the Year to Verna Sulpizio Hull of Visit Sacramento.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the 125th Annual Dinner and Business Awards, visit

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The City of Citrus Heights is soliciting bids for the Community Center Audio Visual Equipment Replacement Financing, Purchase, Installation and Training


CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - SEALED PROPOSALS shall be received at the office of the City Clerk, City Hall, 6360 Fountain Square Drive, Citrus Heights, California, until the hour of 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at which time they will be publicly opened and read for the City of Citrus Heights, California Citrus Heights Community Center Audio Visual Equipment Replacement, Financing, Purchase, Installation and Training Project.

The work to be performed consists, in general of replacing existing audio visual equipment within the Citrus Heights Community Center; providing three lease to purchase options as well as training and maintenance for the duration of the lease to purchase period. To be considered responsive, Proposals must be for the entire scope of work as presented in the bid plans and specifications include completed proposal forms, guarantees and supplemental information.

An electronic copy of the specifications, Proposal Documents, Agreement and other Contract Documents is available on the City’s website at no cost. Proposers may also obtain the documents at the office of the General Services Department, City Hall, 6360 Fountain Square Drive, Citrus Heights, California, with a nonrefundable charge of $35.00 for pick up and $45.00 for mailing. It is the proposer's responsibility to check the city's website for any updated information at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled proposal opening.

MANDATORY pre-proposal conference is scheduled to be held on Thursday, November 14, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. at the Citrus Heights Community Center located  at 6300 Fountain Square Drive, Citrus Heights, CA 95621. Proposers must be present at the Pre-Proposal Conference no later than the scheduled start time. A proposer’s FAILURE TO ATTEND the mandatory pre-proposal conference, to arrive after the advertised start time, or to leave the meeting prior to its conclusion shall render any proposal submitted by that proposer to be deemed non-responsive and the proposal shall not be considered for award.  Decision by the city on this matter shall be final.

In accordance with the provisions of Section 1770 of the Labor Code of the State of California, the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations has ascertained the general prevailing rate of wages applicable to the work to be done in accordance with the standards set forth in Section 1773 and which is filed in the office of the City Clerk.

The successful bidder shall pay not less than the specified prevailing wage rates to all laborers, workers, and mechanics employed in the performance of the work specified herein. The successful bidder will be required to post a copy of the general prevailing rates per diem wages in a conspicuous place at the job site forthwith upon undertaking the public work called for herein.  The successful bidder shall also keep an accurate certified payroll record in accordance with requirement set forth in Labor Code Section 1776 and the Contract Documents.

Each proposal must be accompanied by cash, cashier's check, certified check or Proposal Guarantee Bond made payable to the City of Citrus Heights in the amount of 10% of the total proposal amount, such guaranty to be forfeited should the proposer to whom the contract is awarded fail to enter into the contract within the time period required by the Contract Documents.

No proposal will be accepted unless it is made on a proposal form furnished by the General Services Director and is for the entire work described herein.  The Proposal Guarantee bonds for the three acceptable lowest proposers shall be retained until the City Council has accepted the successful proposer.  All other Proposal Guarantee Bonds shall be returned to the proposer five (5) working days after proposal opening. The Contract shall be awarded, if an award is made, to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder within sixty (60) calendar days from the date the proposals are publicly opened and declared.  If the award is not made within that period, all proposals submitted are deemed rejected by the City Council and all remaining Proposal Guarantee Bonds shall be returned to the proposer. The successful proposer shall apply for and obtain at its costs any permits required for all work, except as otherwise specified in the Contract Documents.

A proposer may propose one or more "equals" or substitutions for products listed in the Contract Documents by manufacturer name, brand or model number, unless the Contract Documents specify that the product is necessary to match others in use.  Complete information for products proposed by a proposer as an equal must be submitted to the General Services Director for review, at least ten (10) working days before the time specified for proposal opening in accordance with the Instructions to Proposers contained in the Contract Documents.

Pursuant to Public Contract Code section 22300, proposers may substitute securities for any monies which the city may withhold pursuant to the terms of this Contract to insure performance. Such securities must be furnished on a form acceptable to the city and by a company, acceptable to the city, that is authorized and licensed by the Insurance Commissioner as an “admitted surety insurer” and which maintains at least one officer in California for conducting business.  Prior to such approval, the surety shall provide the documentation required by California Civil Code Section 995.660.

The City of Citrus Heights reserves the right to reject any or all proposals or portions thereof, to accept a proposal or portion thereof and to waive any minor informality or irregularity.

The license classification required for this project is a Class C-7 issued by the State of California. The license must be active and in good standing as of the date of receipt of proposal s and must be maintained in good standing throughout the term of the contract.  For contracts involving federal funds, the license must be active and in good standing as of the date of the Contract award and must be maintained in good standing throughout the term of the contract.

Each proposer, and any subcontractor listed in a bid proposal pursuant to Public Contract Code Section 4104, must be currently registered with the Department of Industrial Relations and qualified to perform public work consistent with Labor Code section 1725.5, except in limited circumstances as referenced in Labor Code section 1771.1(a).

This project is subject to compliance monitoring and enforcement by the Department of Industrial Relations.  All contractors must be registered with the Department of Industrial Relations, as well as with System for Award Management (SAM).

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - AARP Is seeking volunteers interested in learning how to prepare online federal and state income taxes for low and middle income taxpayers, especially those ages 50 and older.

Last years volunteers helped approximately 22,000 people complete their federal and state tax forms at 64 sites in Sacramento, Placer and adjacent counties.

Two one-week training classes are held in December and January. Computer skills are helpful. Training is provided by senior, experienced Tax-Aide volunteers. Interested volunteers are asked to contact Norm Losk by e-mail at

AARP membership is not a requirement. 

AARPs Tax-Aide” program is overseen by the the AARP Foundation and offered in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service. The program operates from Feb. 1 through April 15 and prefers a minimum service commitment of two days a week. Volunteers are reimbursed for mileage.

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