Members from the Palm Springs community are recognized for their service by the Palm Springs Human Rights Commission.
Monday, the nine-member committee celebrated a group of people who look beyond race, religion, age or sexual orientation in their service to individuals in the community.
Officer Mike Radford with California Highway Patrol said he didn’t know the magnitude of the Chips for Kids toy drive when he took over, but today he’s led the event to collect over 15,000 toys for local underprivileged children during the holiday season.
“I’m honored the Palm Springs Human Rights Commission thought of me for their human rights award,” Officer Radford says. "We don’t the work that we do typically for recognition."
There was a standing ovation for a woman who has called Palm Springs home for 40 years. Goldie Jacoby is a holocaust survivor. Her husband passed away just over a year ago. He, too, was a Holocaust survivor.
She has made it her life mission to teach a message of tolerance, especially to children. She visits local schools to share her story.
“I don’t understand how anybody cannot believe in human rights. Everybody has a right to live, even animals, but especially humans,” says Jacoby.
Other community members or groups receiving the community service award:
Lucy Debardelaben & Gail Christian – Palm Springs humanitarians Lucy and Gail are recognized for advocating for women through music. Together, they raise awareness of the diversity and talent of world-class female musicians who traditionally struggle for recognition and employment.
Ruth Debra – Community organizer and lifelong civil rights advocate. Ruth has been deeply involved in civil rights and peace and justice movements since she was in high school. She is also well known in the community as a founding member of the L-Fund and the first female Chair of the Desert Stonewall Democrats. She also sits on the National Steering Committee for Old Lesbians Organizing for Change.
Brad Fuhr – Founder and publisher of the Gay Desert Guide. Brad aligns business goals and initiatives with causes and social issues that benefit the wider community. From supporting and promoting youth housing, access to health services along with a variety of social services, Fuhr is always there to lend a hand.
Senior Advocates of the Desert – The Coachella Valley’s only non-profit social service organization that is dedicated to exclusively helping low-income seniors obtain the government benefits to which they are entitled. From benefit advocacy to providing emergency financial assistance, their work results in seniors receiving a liveable income, having food in the kitchen, and a safe comfortable place to live.
Metropolitan Community Church of the Coachella Valley (MCCCV) – MCCCV is recognized for their radical call for acceptance and celebration of human diversity. Since 1968, MCCCV has advocated for equality, human rights and social justice. In addition, the church is well known for being one of the first to perform same-sex marriages and for suing the state of California (first in 1971) to recognize marriage equality.
The Palm Springs Human Rights Commission was started in 1992.