Our Generation, Our Fight: ZOE International

Twenty years or so ago, when Michael and Carol Hart first heard that adults could purchase a little boy or girl for sex off of a menu on the streets of Thailand, they couldn’t believe crimes like these were taking place in our day. While this generation had not been present to fight past horrors like transatlantic slavery and the Holocaust, Carol declared that if this was happening while she was alive, then this was her generation and her fight. God soon called the Harts to start ZOE International (a…

Citizens on Mission to Boost Military Morale

American soldiers serving remotely overseas combat more than just enemies to democracy, the elements, and rough terrain; they often fight isolation, anxiety, and sometimes boredom.  Vietnam War veteran Rick McHenry understands these challenges and wants to help by sending a bit of “home” to American military members.  McHenry recalled the importance of care packages during his service, saying, “When I was in the field, I used to get cookies and letters from my mom. I saw other guys getting care packages with gum, candy, and playing cards, and they were…

From Crib to College: James Storehouse Serves Foster Kids All Through Their Journeys

When Kirk and Stacy DeWitt received a foster child placement in 2013 after a year of applying to be foster parents, they were shocked when the first child came to their home with no belongings whatsoever. With broken hearts, they asked themselves what they could do to help others like this child who carried nothing while transitioning from one placement to another. After nine months and $100,000 of fundraising from their congregants at Conejo Church, where Kirk is pastor, James Storehouse opened its first warehouse in 2014 in Newbury Park.…

Neighbors Help Neighbors to Beat Hunger

Over 300 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Boy Scout Explorer Crews will descend upon neighborhoods on February 27 as they collect donated food to stock local food pantry, MANNA. With many Conejo Valley families facing the challenge of putting food on their tables, this food drive could not come at a better time.  Demand for food surged over the holidays, depleting food pantry shelves. Families are not only challenged to meet other financial obligations, but feed their families as the pandemic’s strain continues. Last year, nearly 350 scouts gathered 55,000…

Happiness is finding a home: Paw works

A Conejo Valley Dog Rescue is working hard to bring joy to animals and their humans. Recently, Paw Works spoke to The Conejo Guardian to tell us some of their stories. Brittany Vizcarra, the Operations Manager at Paw Works, told us about Rigatoni, a favorite of the volunteers.  “We rescued Rigatoni from an LA county shelter, along with dozens of others. He was sweet, but not quick to trust people, and seemed to suffer from past trauma or lack of socialization. We showed him love and patience, and every day…

Hidden in plain sight: Forever Found helps children caught in sex trafficking

This is the story of three local teenagers*  —  Kayla, Rachel, and Bethany Fifteen-year-old Kayla F. grew up in and out of the Ventura County foster system. In 2017, she was living in a group home, going to school, and doing her best to make the most out of trying circumstances. One night her best friend in the group home talked her into sneaking out to a party. Her best friend’s boyfriend picked them up and drove them to an apartment. As they entered, Kayla could feel that something wasn’t…

German Shepherd Rescue Organization Saves Thousands of Dogs Annually

German Shepherd Puppies

By Robin Jampol and Don Yates The phone rarely stops ringing at Westside German Shepherd Rescue because the need to save another magnificent German Shepherd Dog (GSD) never ends. Often the calls are from other animal shelters that are full and they want to prevent the destruction of a GSD. There have been calls from the police who have found a GSD tied to a bag of food and left by the side of the road. Sometimes apartment managers find dogs left behind when the tenant moved or the gift…