Leo and Barbara Guidotti had all the struggles of every parent raising a special needs child. Perhaps their greatest concern was the loneliness their son Michael would almost certainly face without his own community of friends and social activities so essential to a vibrant quality of life that, frankly, most of us take for granted.
And so, in 1972 CARH was formed with a mission to enrich the lives of adults and children with intellectual disabilities in the greater Bay Area. Since day one, CARH has raised vital funds for its community programs by collecting generous donations of clothing and housewares from local households, then marketing the goods for sustainable resale and recycling uses.
Initially, CARH hoped to underwrite the social and recreational activities not provided by other governmental or community agencies. Ultimately, their dream was to create a special needs community in which others, like their son, could call their own.
Four decades later, CARH collects charitable donations from households in over 5 counties. Over 2,000 clients enjoy a social calendar of events ranging from movie matinees to dances, picnics, and other group activities, clients attend summer camp paid for in part by the Campership Tuition Program. Financial assistance is provided for basic needs such as wheelchairs, eyeglasses, and special beds, in addition to our Mobile Dental Hygiene and "A Wonderful You Days"
Our founder, Leo Guidotti passed away on July 16, 2003. But he lived long enough to see his vision realized in the smiling faces of our growing CARH family.
Cathy Giouzelis is the Charity Administrator for CARH, succeeding Mary Gianopoulos, who retired after a 14-year term with the charity. Cathy is a graduate from Cal State East Bay, Hayward, CA., with a degree in finance and economics. She brings a wealth of professional knowledge and personal experience to her role, at a time of exciting change and growth within the organization.
For the past 15 years Cathy has worked for world-leading corporations such as Oracle, Salesforce and Openwave, contributing her talents in areas of customer service, public relations and event planning. Her strong work ethic and passion in working with clients, vendors and partners plays an essential role in the successful operation of CARH and its ability to serve clients and the community. With her in-depth knowledge of volunteer recruitment and community organizing strategies, Cathy is committed to boldly leading CARH to a new level of growth and success.
Cathy currently serves as Western District Governor of the Pan Arcadian Federation of America and is an active member of the Daughters of Penelope, for which she has served as Chair for Building Futures for Women, supporting victims of homelessness and domestic violence. Her passion for people and drive to educate and support those in need, reflects the kind of character Cathy respects and encourages in everyone she comes in contact with.
Cathy enjoys meeting new people on her adventures across the United States and abroad; travels that have taken her to Vancouver, BC, New York, Chicago, Washington DC, and Greece. She enjoys scrapbooking and shopping in her spare time. Proud and passionate about her Greek heritage and culture, she loves to bake traditional Greek goodies and share them with others.
|Gary Sostchen||President||Retired Operations Director|
|Linda Cliff||Vice-President||Program Manager/Technology Group Kaiser-Permanente|
|Dennis Metaxas||Secretary||Retired Civil Engineer|
|Bob Herron||Treasurer||Retired Environmental Supervisor|
|Kristin Petersen||Human Resources||Mental Health and Behavior Support Specialist|
|Ruby Kissick||Fundraising||Marketing/Event Planner|
|Herb Wilson||Retired Architect|
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