This article was originally published in Giving Back Magazine, highlighting PCI’s partnerships and upcoming Hands Across Borders Gala on October 22. // Pictured above: PCI’s founder, Dr. James Turpin.
Every day, more than 3,900 Southwest flights offer a unique perspective on our planet. Seeing the Earth from 30,000 feet is a constant reminder of both the fragility and interconnectedness of the place we all call home. This viewpoint reinforces our ongoing commitment to conservation, the responsible use of resources, and mitigation of our environmental impacts.
At PCI, they believe in giving people the tools they need to transform their own lives. While their organization is based in San Diego, they are currently operating in 15 countries, where they focus on preventing disease, ensuring maternal and child health, improving food security and livelihoods, and providing humanitarian assistance. At their Hands Across Borders Gala, they celebrate individuals who are committed to social change, and the dreamers who are transforming lives in the world’s poorest communities.
Nestled in San Diego’s Clairemont Mesa, you will find a nonprofit making a significant global impact working in 15 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas, and right here at home.
For 55 years, PCI has worked to make a positive difference in some of the most vulnerable communities around the world. The organization impacted the lives of nearly 19 million people last year, encouraging opportunity and providing individuals and families with the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty and lead healthier, more productive lives.
One area in which PCI is a leader in San Diego is in the fight against the human trafficking of women and girls. San Diego is one of the FBI’s top areas identified for child prostitution, and California is one of the top four destination states for human trafficking. Women and girls who lack access to resources such as housing, education and income are at increased risk of sexual violence and assault.
PCI plays an important role in preventing trafficking, working closely with the Boys and Girls Clubs, the San Diego County School System, and the District Attorney’s office in educating the community about the very real threat of human trafficking.
The success of PCI’s work is only made possible by the commitment and generosity of key public and private partners. One such partner is Southwest Airlines, and that is why PCI is honoring Southwest Airlines with its 2016 Corporate Leadership Award at their annual Hands Across Borders Gala on October 22, 2016. As an innovative corporate partner and supporter of PCI for more than 17 years, Southwest Airlines has helped touch the hearts and lives of millions of people.
Because of generous supporters such as Southwest Airlines and others, PCI has been able to educate the Latino community about the dangers of heart disease, diabetes and even the Zika virus through public service campaigns, working with low-income expectant moms in receiving prenatal care, or empowering women to begin their careers in a new country, PCI’s partners and supporters impact lives every day in our city.
The theme of PCI’s gala this year is “All Roads Lead to Home,” because thanks to the support of generous partners, millions around the world have a safer, healthier home and community.
Mary Lynn and Larry Weitzen are two of those generous partners, and PCI will recognize them for their unwavering support of the organization for more than four decades. Mary Lynn grew up with PCI as her dad, Robert Driver, was affectionately known as the organization’s godfather in the early years. Mary Lynn, Larry, and their children and grandchildren, have visited PCI programs in El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua and Zambia.
PCI’s founder, Dr. James Turpin, will return to San Diego to speak at this year’s gala. After saving the lives of two young children dying of pneumonia across the border in Tijuana back in 1961, Dr. Turpin founded PCI to ensure children everywhere have an opportunity to live up to their full potential. His vision and values remain at the center of PCI.
Join PCI at PCI’s Hands Across Borders Gala on October 22 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla to celebrate the San Diego community commitment to social change and honoring PCI champions who are transforming lives in the world’s more vulnerable communities.
To attend the gala, please visit www.bidpal.net/pci.