Share |

Extraordinary Lives Foundation

 26800 Crown Valley Parkway, Suite 460
 Mission VIejo, CA 92691
[P] (949) 315 9735
[F] --
www.el.foundation
[email protected]
Mara James
FOUNDED: 2015
INCORPORATED: 2015
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA ELF
EL Foundation
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Employer Identification Number 47-5447432 00000

Summary


Mission StatementMORE »

The Extraordinary Lives Foundation (ELF) is dedicated to supporting Children's Mental Health and Wellness and dispelling the stigma surrounding mental health challenges. ELF was founded to bring mental health discussions out into the open, educate people about holistic healing options that complement traditional medicine, and focus on wellness and prevention to help children reach their highest potential.

Mission Statement

The Extraordinary Lives Foundation (ELF) is dedicated to supporting Children's Mental Health and Wellness and dispelling the stigma surrounding mental health challenges. ELF was founded to bring mental health discussions out into the open, educate people about holistic healing options that complement traditional medicine, and focus on wellness and prevention to help children reach their highest potential.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2019
Projected Expenses $330,019.00
Projected Revenue $356,500.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • "The Power of Piggie Bear"
  • Mental Health Awareness Events at Major League Baseball Games

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2018 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview


Mission Statement

The Extraordinary Lives Foundation (ELF) is dedicated to supporting Children's Mental Health and Wellness and dispelling the stigma surrounding mental health challenges. ELF was founded to bring mental health discussions out into the open, educate people about holistic healing options that complement traditional medicine, and focus on wellness and prevention to help children reach their highest potential.

Background Statement

The Extraordinary Lives Foundation (ELF) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization founded in 2015 by Mara James to change the way society views mental health and to dispel the stigma associated with mental health challenges. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one out of five individuals suffers from a mental health condition. This is evidenced by the demand for pediatric inpatient beds across California and the nation. Certain hospitals responded to the need by creating an inpatient Mental Health Center for children as young as age 3. Children are taught to brush their teeth every day, yet they are not taught to care for their mental health and it is much easier to build strong children than repair broken adults.
 
In addition, in 2018, ELF has recognized that there is a need for interactive workshops to educate and teach coping skills to help those experiencing mental health challenges themselves or within their family.
 
PIGGIE BEAR
To encourage prevention, ELF has created a therapeutic book called "The Power of Piggie Bear" to teach children about their emotions and how to cope with them. For all children, navigating the ups and downs of daily life can be stressful and intimidating. Imagine how delicate the mental health can be of a child in foster care, one that has been abused or a homeless child.
 
WHAT PIGGIE BEAR TEACHES
  • Piggie Bear promotes self-acceptance and teaches that it is OK to be different
  • Piggie Bear boosts self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Piggie Bear shares emotions and teaches children to recognize them and self-calming techniques
  • Piggie Bear teaches coping skills and deep belly breathing
  • Piggie Bear demonstrates self-love
The following is a testimonial from a local licensed mental health therapist:
 
"It can often be a challenge for children to find the right words to express what is going on inside. However, hearing Piggie Bear express these feelings makes it relatable. "The Power of Piggie Bear" is a wonderful, heartfelt approach to giving children tools for dealing with their feelings and developing self-acceptance." Debbie Hutchinson, Psy.D., MFT.
 
ELF has started distribution of “The Power of Piggie Bear”, which is available in both English and Spanish, to at-risk children in Orange County. The next step is to raise the funds necessary so that the Piggie Bear stuffed animal, created by Build-a-Bear, can be included with the book and donated to the children who need them most. It is vital to reinforce positive teachings while children are young and receptive. By giving children the tools to cope with life’s obstacles, we can help improve their resilience and mental well-being as they grow to be teenagers and young adults.  
 
CREATING AWARENESS
To help bring mental health out of the darkness and into the spotlight, during the month of May, ELF organized multiple "High Five for Mental Health" awareness events at Major League Baseball games including an Angels' game at Angel Stadium, a Yankees' game at Yankee Stadium in New York,  and an Atlanta Giants' game at SunTrust Par.

Impact Statement

PAST ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
 
PIGGIE BEAR
 
"The Power of Piggie Bear" book and Teaching Guide have been introduced to the Anaheim School District and are being used in Kindergarten and Grade 1 classes at Horace Mann Elementary School, Fairmont Private Schools and Stratford Preschool.
 
"Piggie Bear"  has been translated into Spanish and copies of the book have been donated to several children's foundations including: 
  • Orangewood Foundation 
  • Illumination Foundation 
  • Project Hope Alliance 
  • Casa Hogar, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • CHOC Children's Hospital
  • Mission Hospital Camino Health Center 
  • LA Mission Family Homeless Shelter
AWARENESS EVENTS
 
ELF partnered with CHOC Children's Hospital to host a Mental Health Awareness Event at Angel Stadium at the Angels v. Minnesota Twins game on May 12, 2018 and ELF went national, hosting Mental Health Awareness Events at Yankee Stadium in New York and SunTrust Park in Atlanta.
 
In 2019, ELF partnered with Each Mind Matters, California's mental health movement, NAMI CA, and Mental Health America CA  and hosted awareness events at all 5 California MLB stadiums and the Sacramentao River Cats.
 
GOALS FOR THIS YEAR:
 
  • To raise funds to donate Piggie Bear stuffed animals (that were produced by Build-a-Bear) and "The Power of Piggie Bear" book to children's foundations. 
  • To create National Mental Health Awareness Events in collaboration with CHOC Children's Hospital, Each Mind Matters (a subsidiary of Cal MHSA), NAMI and Mental Health America CA (MHAC) at all California Major League and AAA baseball stadiums (Accomplished)!
  • Host a Comedy Night fundraiser in February 2019 for awareness and raising funds. (Accomplished!)

Needs Statement

The following are our top five most pressing needs:
  • Unrestricted or core funding to support and expand operations (administration, social media and communications, website maintenance, marketing).  These areas are presently mainly managed by volunteers.
  • Educational funding to support workshops.
  • Funding for printing of 'The Power of Piggie Bear" in both English and Spanish so the book can be donated to at-risk children through children's foundations, hospitals and schools.  This will be a therapeutic tool to increase Emotional Intelligence. The more funds received, the greater our reach to children nationally.
  • Funding for the creation of a Piggie Bear soft plush toy to accompany the book. A prototype has already been created by Build-A-Bear. For an order of 5,000 units, $75,000 is needed.
  • Funding to create children’s Piggie Bear motivational cards.

CEO Statement

CEO STATEMENT
 
Many families are impacted by mental health related issues yet most people are uncomfortable admitting to this for fear of stigma. They often suffer in silence, not knowing where to turn or how to seek for help. I created ELF to bring mental health out of the shadows and into the light and to raise awareness so that mental health is openly discussed and seen simply as one aspect of general wellness. 
 
My world as I had known it fell part in 2014 when out of the blue, at age 48, I experienced a manic episode and was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. My husband, Kenny, and I had already been dealing with mental health challenges in our family as we have a son who has Asperger's and ADHD. Thanks to my psychiatrist, and the many gifted healers who have helped me, I have been guided back to a state of mental well-being. On this journey, I became acutely aware of the stigma that accompanies mental health challenges and realized how many problems experienced later in life stem from early childhood.
 
This was the inspiration to start the foundation and to promote May as National Mental Health Awareness Month. Piggie Bear has been created to empower children by helping them cope with their emotions, and teaching them self-love and self-acceptance. At ELF, we truly believe that early intervention and support can help children become more resilient, improve their mental health and discourage self-destructive behavior and later self medication with drugs and alcohol.  We also acknowledge that regardless of one's age, with the proper support and help, one can transform their own life to be  happier and healthier.
 
Mara James, Founder & CEO

Board Chair Statement

Mara James, see above.

Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Mail a check/donate through PayPal on website/subscribe to our website/contact us through our website to volunteer for events

Geographic Area Served

South Orange County
North Orange County
West Orange County
Central Orange County
Anaheim, Orange, Laguna Niguel, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, Santa Ana, Irvine

Organization Categories

  1. Public & Societal Benefit - Alliances & Advocacy
  2. Education - Educational Services
  3. Mental Health & Crisis Intervention - Alliances & Advocacy

--

Programs


"The Power of Piggie Bear"

ELF has created a therapeutic book titled "The Power of Piggie Bear," which teaches children about their emotions and how to effectively self calm themselves. Piggie Bear teaches coping skills such as self-calming techniques and deep belly breathing, which helps reduce anxiety and stress. Piggie Bear also promotes self-acceptance and teaches children that it is OK to be different and unique. Piggie Bear helps increase self-confidence, self-esteem, and Emotional Intelligence.

Our Founder & CEO, Mara James, has read Piggie Bear to students in the Anaheim School District and Fairmont Private Schools, and at CHOC Children's Hospital, the Illumination Foundation, LA's Mission for Homeless Families, and at public libraries.

ELF recognizes the mental health challenges faced by at-risk children and has donated Piggie Bear books, in English and Spanish, to several children's foundations, such as Orangewood and the Illumination Foundation.

We have a Piggie Bear stuffed animal prototype to accompany the book. Our goal is to donate books as well as the stuffed animals to at-risk children and to get the books, stuffed animals, and teacher's guide into Kindergarten Classrooms to help teach young children these important tools.  

Budget  $260,000.00
Category  Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other Mental Health Treatment
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) At-Risk Populations Homeless
Program Short-Term Success 

The success of Piggie Bear can be demonstrated by this powerful quote from a mother who shared Piggie Bear with her daughter:

"My Daughter's name is Melissa and she's four. Piggie Bear has made a huge impact on her. She's already dealt with anxiety for the past year, but in the past month at preschool, two little boys actually told her to kill herself and that she should use a sharp knife to do it. That her Mommy and Daddy wouldn't miss her if she was dead. The girls in her preschool tell her she's ugly and wears ugly, boring dresses and that none of them want her at their birthday parties. These kids are four! I never imagined my sweet, smart girl would be bullied so badly, and never at four years old. I bring this up because after talking to many Moms in the South Orange County Mom's Group on Facebook, I realize how big of a problem bullying is for young kids and would love this to be the subject of your next book. We're still on the journey to help Melissa through this and give her tools to handle tough situations in the future."

Program Long-Term Success 

Our long-term success is demonstrated by invitations to read Piggie Bear at new schools and programs. We were recently invited to read Piggie Bear at the Project Renew (a mental health wrap-around program for children and families) family picnic this Summer. We envision future success as we have funding to donate our Piggie Bear books and stuffed animals to at-risk children.

Program Success Monitored By 

Our program success is monitored by the invitations we receive to read Piggie Bear at new schools and venues. We have received some powerful testimonials from the community about the positive effects Piggie Bear has on children.

Examples of Program Success 

The therapeutic effect of Piggie Bear was shared with us by Debbie Hutchinson, Psy.D., MFT, who stated:

"It can often be a challenge for children to find the right words to express what is going on inside. However, hearing Piggie Bear express these feelings makes it relatable. "The Power of Piggie Bear" is a wonderful, heartfelt approach to giving children tools for dealing with their feelings and developing self-acceptance."

Mental Health Awareness Events at Major League Baseball Games

ELF has partnered with other prominent mental health organizations (CHOC Children's Hospital, Each Mind Matters, NAMI California, and Mental Health America of California) to promote mental health awareness at Major League Baseball (MLB) Games in CA.  In 2018, we hosted events at Angel's Stadium, Yankee Stadium, and at Sun Trust Park in Atlanta.
This year (2019), we promoted the importance of mental health by using sponge hands to "High-five" participants for mental health.   We offered many complimentary tickets to the games to volunteers from the community.  It was powerful to share our message with the general public, who may not be aware of mental health challenges.
This year (2019), we participated in mental health awareness events at these games:  San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Anaheim Angels, Sacramento River Cats, Oakland A's, and the LA Dodgers.   
Budget  $25,850.00
Category  Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other Mental Health Treatment
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) At-Risk Populations Homeless
Program Short-Term Success  Our short-term success can be measured by ticket sales, participation and attendance.  "High-fiving" the attendees was also successful, especially for children,  who responded well to this activity.
Program Long-Term Success 
Our long term success is evidenced by the strong collaborations we have developed with this program.  In addition to our collaborative sponsors,  we received such a positive response from other organizations, who were glad to support our marketing efforts by sharing the flier within their organizations and with their collaborative partners.  
 
Our goal is to have the stadiums officially call the game a "Mental Health Awareness Event."   We would also like to obtain more sponsors to help fund tickets for at-risk children to attend.   We eventually would like our event announced at the games and to have the first pitch at a game.
Program Success Monitored By  We monitor this program's success though ticket sales, participation and our increasing number of collaborative supporters.
Examples of Program Success  By wearing lime green ELF T-shirts,  we demonstrated unity and promoted the color of mental health.

Management


CEO/Executive Director Mara James
CEO Term Start Nov 2015
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Born & raised in New York City, Mara attended the University of Rochester graduating with double majors in Psychology and Economics. After college, Mara worked for Drexel Burnham Lambert, Swiss Bank Corporation and Credit Suisse First Boston where she was Vice President of Foreign Exchange Operations. In 2007 Mara and her family relocated to Orange County, California where Mara helped start and manager her husband's OBGYN practice.



Mara has organized extracurricular activities and several fundraisers for her children’s school. She is a past board member for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation in New York where she co-chaired the Foundation’s annual Neiman Marcus sponsored luncheon two years in a row. Mara started the foundation from scratch and is already making a significant impact in bringing awareness to mental health issues.
​Mara is the author of "The Power of Piggie Bear" which is being donated to at-risk children and children's school programs to help increase Emotional Intelligence.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Certificate of Special Recognition for supporting Children's Mental Health & Wellness Office of Congressman Daniel E. Issa 2017
Certificate of Special Recognition for supporting Children's Mental Health & Wellness Office of Congresswoman Mimi Walters 2017

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

We collaborated with CHOC Children's to create a Mental Health Awareness Event at Angel Stadium for an Angel's game in May 2018 & 2019.   In May of 2019, we also collaborated with Each Mind Matters, NAMI California and Mental Health America of California.  Together, we promoted and attended six Major League & AAA Baseball Events throughout California to raise awareness of the importance of mental health treatment.

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 15
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % --
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: --
Asian American/Pacific Islander: --
Caucasian: 1
Hispanic/Latino: --
Native American/American Indian: --
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 1
Male: --
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? --
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy --
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? N/A
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A

Government Licenses

--

CEO Comments

Opportunities:  Now that we have been in existence for 3 years, we are able to apply for grants and we have hired a part-time grant writer.  We need to ensure that we have enough funds to cover this expense.
 
Challenges:  We need to hire a part-time administrative assistant to help us with our daily work including reaching out to schools and children's foundations and assisting with our fundraising and awareness events. 

Foundation Comments

--

Governance


Board Chair Mara James
Board Chair Company Affiliation Founder & CEO
Board Chair Term Nov 2015 - Oct
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Melissa Glossup PR Director Voting
Mara James Founder & CEO Voting
Jane Noble Secretary Voting
Lauren Perry Marketing Director Voting
Rachel Popplewell Art Director Voting
Mike Vandi Business Director Voting
Beatrice Yee Treasurer Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
Cathleen Collins -- NonVoting
Amy Hamilton -- NonVoting
Dr. Kenneth James -- NonVoting
Dr. Adrienne Matros -- NonVoting
Ross Noble -- NonVoting
Renata Uhurahy -- NonVoting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: --
Other (if specified): 1 Persian
Gender Female: 6
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria --
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy --
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 0%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Board Orientation No

CEO Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Standing Committees

  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2018 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $356,500.00
Projected Expenses $330,019.00
Form 990s

2018 IRS Tax Form 990-N

2017 IRS Tax Form 990-N

2016 IRS Tax Form 990-N

2015 IRS Tax Form 990-N

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Total Revenue $39,577 $26,920 $25,716
Total Expenses $45,543 $29,207 $26,029

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$4,950 -- --
Government Contributions $2,500 $2,500 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local $2,500 $2,500 --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $16,055 $8,652 $9,951
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $241 $1,741 $3,574
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $4,781 $5,728 $1,540
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $11,050 $8,270 $10,650

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Program Expense $30,566 $22,597 $18,526
Administration Expense $11,056 $4,879 $6,282
Fundraising Expense $3,921 $1,731 $1,221
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.87 0.92 0.99
Program Expense/Total Expenses 67% 77% 71%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 14% 10% 11%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Total Assets $2,531 $10,924 $3,842
Current Assets $2,531 $10,924 $3,842
Long-Term Liabilities $7,000 $10,000 --
Current Liabilities -- -- --
Total Net Assets $-4,469 $924 $3,842

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities inf inf inf

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 277% 92% 0%
Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? --
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

CEO Comments

Currently, we have a limited amount of funds.  We need to obtain more money so that we can expand our reach.

Foundation Comments

This organization files a 990N.  Summary financial data was provided by the organzation.  

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.