Today, as I usually do every morning, I went to the mail box to see if I got any mail.
Any notice, any indication that my Stimulus might be on its way, a letter that might tell me how my day is going to be. Well, today, I opened it and found a 8 BALL Welfare Foundation blue letter, which I took and carried with me inside the house. I called my wife and told her.. we got a letter… I just could not wait any longer and opened it…took it out, not knowing what to feel and expect… then something fell out of it… looked like a check…laid on the ground. Being on the eve of our next rent I was really hopeful…. but not as much as when I picked it up and saw …that it was a check for $3,000.
I have no words to describe my gratitude. As well as the re-affirmed conviction that there are people out there STILL wanting to help each other given the chance…
Maybe the American Dream is not dead.
* * *
First, thank you so much for taking the time to make sure my application had all the necessary info for processing, and all the help with it.
Second, of course, I am beyond grateful for the generous grant from 8 Ball. My cup has runneth over as my elderly neighbor used to say. You can only imagine the moment I opened the envelope! The sigh of relief was heard around the block.
The grant gives me so much hope that things are going to get better, and now I don't have to worry about how to pay the next bill. I already have renewed energy to approach editors with pitches, and even though all of them will not get greenlit, I know some will.
And hopefully at some point things improve so much that I can pay it forward and donate to the foundation or help in some other way. Please, don't hesitate to ask if there is something I can do.
* * *
I'm writing to express my huge gratitude (and considerable astonishment) at receiving your extremely generous grant this morning. This will make such a huge difference to my family. I will indeed be donating to the 8-Ball Welfare Foundation just as soon as I get back on my feet.
Thank you again.
* * *
This Grant gives me a ray of hope to survive and recover through this very difficult time. The 8-Ball Welfare Foundation is a Blessing...
* * *
Mr. Tony Valdez and The 8-Ball Foundation,
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
My wife and I would like you to know how much we greatly appreciate the gracious gift we received. This grant from The 8-Ball Foundation will certainly help us, get through this tough time we are going through. There has never been a day in my nearly forty years in the TV News Business here in Los Angeles, that I thought, I would ever wonder where my next dollar is coming from. But due to an unexpected turn of events and the crisis of the CORONA-19 Pandemic; this is truly an unprecedented time.
We truly hope this is a short-term situation and certainly looking forward to better days ahead, getting back to work or starting a new path. Either way, there will be a day when we will be able to "give-back", and donate back to the 8-Ball Foundation, and help someone else who is going through an unexpected hard time.
Once again we THANK YOU !
We Thank You Tony!
We Thank You Board Members!
We Thank You Donors of the 8-Ball Foundation!
* * *
Dear 8-Ball Board,
I would like to thank you for your generosity in helping me fund my passion and career in such a trying time. Me and my family are grateful for your support and words of kindness.
I will never forget the 8-Ball Welfare Foundation and will continue to support and donate to the foundation so that you can continue to aid other journalists.
A photojournalist based in Los Angeles
* * *
I received the letter and grant check in the mail today and wanted to say thank you. I truly appreciate the help during this tough time. It helps relieve some of the stress while I'm on furlough and things are so uncertain.
It's going to make a world of difference. I can't thank you and the Board enough for your generosity.
Unfortunately, I haven't heard back from any of my job applications, but it's somewhat expected with everything going on. I'm going to stay positive and keep trying.
Also, thank you very much for the compliment about my photography. I appreciate the kind words, it means a lot to hear that from fellow journalists.
Thank you again. I hope you are staying safe and healthy.
I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the foundation today when I received the check and saw that the grant was for way more than what I had requested.
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to you, Reed and all the foundation members and donors. Right now I am focused on getting a job as soon as possible but I will give back to the foundation when I get back on my feet, hopefully soon.
Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. Happy New Year!"
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart for that incredible gift. It's not just money you're giving. It's a roof over my head, food, and some peace. The work that you do is invaluable and life-impacting. I will most definitely pass this blessing along tenfold!
God bless you, XOXO"
* * *
"Dear Mr. Valdez,
I am overjoyed with gratitude for the generous check I received from you! Thank you so very much! It is definitely a massive help to me. As I move toward physical wellness, having this money is definitely enabling me to improve my financial health as well. Certainly, once things stabilize and improve for me, I’m happy to make a donation to 8-Ball to help other journalists in need. I know first-hand how tough it is out there, and how an injury or health issue can manifest into a financial crisis. So, I look forward to being able pay it forward."
"I would like to thank Tony Valdez and the Board of Directors from the 8 Ball Foundation for their generous grant. My wife and I have been in the journalism and broadcasting business for over 30 years combined and have loved every minute of it. Suddenly we found ourselves in a very difficult situation which included health issues, a layoff and other unforeseen circumstances. Life happens whether you're ready or not and when it does, it’s important to know that you have somewhere to turn. The 8 Ball Foundation was there for us and we can’t thank them enough. This incredible Foundation has created hope and a chance for us to make it through an impossible situation. We encourage everyone to learn more about and help support the 8 Ball Foundation. Thank you so much for your support, caring and financial help!"
* * *
"Dear Mr. Bob Tarlau,
"I am incredibly appreciative to have been selected to be an 8 Ball grant recipient. The foundation's generous gift brings peace of mind after a very tumultuous holiday season. From the moment of my first inquiry, your board of directors were incredibly helpful, kind and caring as I divulged the particulars of my situation. It is gratifying to know that our industry consists of genuinely good people trying to help others and it reconfirms why I am so dedicated to my news career. I look forward to being able to return the favor so the foundation can continue helping others. Thank you Mr. Tarlau and a heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in assisting me during my time of great need."
"Thank you so much for your incredibly generous gift. There really are no words to let you know
how much this means to us, but I will try. The thought that other people care so much touches us
very deeply. If any of you have gone through anything like this or are going through it, you can
understand. We are blessed in so many ways and we have to always remember that, however this
has been a long tough journey for both of us. Your gift really lightens the load especially at this
time. God bless you all and thank you again from the bottom of our hearts."
"I wanted to thank the Board of Directors of the 8 Ball Foundation for the financial assistance I received. It came just in time when I was facing a financial deadline. I have been struggling for several years now and it finally came to a head. The assistance enabled me to get back on track. And to know that it came from fellow Journalists is special. I will forever be grateful."
"There are few words that adequately convey how grateful I am. My health needs are - for now - vastly helped with the amazing and generous grant from the 8-Ball Welfare Foundation. I was flaberghasted when the check arrived. Thanks you so much!"
* * *
"I just want to take a moment to thank the 8-Ball Welfare Foundation and express my sincere gratitude for your kind words and incredible generosity. I am truly touched by this financial assistance which will be of immense help as I navigate some rough waters. I must say, I feel extremely humbled to have had the opportunities I've had to work within the local television news community here in Los Angeles.
Gathering and reporting the news is my life's passion, and I feel positive about the future of my news career here in Southern California. Again, I can not adequately put into words how grateful I am to the entire Board for this grant. I am anxiously looking forward to the day, hopefully soon, when I can give back and support this amazing foundation. Please pass along my heartfelt appreciation to the other board members."
"Thank you so much, once again, for everything. This emergency fund money is a huge blessing! It's been a long struggle, and I am incredibly thankful to be helped financial in such a big way that will be a tremendous help in getting my life & career back on track. I don't think words could ever quite fully express my gratitude I have towards the foundation.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
* * *
"I just received the check from the foundation.....I cannot begin to tell you how helpful this will be....thank you for your counsel and advice....I will always be grateful.....it was even more emotional for me because it arrived the day before my birthday....what a gift!"
"The depth of compassion and empathy shown by the 8-Ball Foundation was magnificent. The check is such a help as I combat significant health issues. To me there will never by a ‘-30-‘ in the gratitude I feel. I look forward to the time when I am able to contribute to the foundation."
* * *
"Dearest 8 Ball Welfare Foundation Board:
I am offering sincerest thanks and gratitude to the 8 Ball Welfare Foundation for assisting families in times of need. Three years ago, the 8 Ball Foundation helped my family maintain health care coverage during a time of work transition, and it proved invaluable as family members were able to seek care they deeply needed. Once again, this month, I turned to the Foundation when work payment delays caused a financial crisis for my family. As an independent news producer and author, it's difficult in the best of times, and because of the Foundation's kindness and generosity, I am able to continue providing for my family while I weather production and payment delays. I am looking forward to contributing to the Foundation in the future, and I encourage anyone in a position to do so, to help support the 8 Ball Welfare Foundation in small ways or large. The Foundation serves as a reminder that there is such a thing as the Fourth Estate, it's the true veterans of news who stand by their own unflinchingly. "
2015 and earlier:
"Honestly, we are both so humbled by and grateful for this gesture and opportunity, and will use this grant as wisely as we possibly can. Meantime, I remain optimistic, yet cautious. If we can, someday, repay this either directly or in kind by 'passing it forward,' please know we will be thinking of this. Please pass along our best wishes to all the members of the 8-Ball Welfare Foundation, and if there is anything I, or we can do for you in the future, do not hesitate to ask. Thanks to (Chairman) Bob Krauch for his nice letter that accompanied the check. All the best."
* * *
“I admit that even talking to you, a fellow journalist, was absolutely nourishing to me. I thank you for your encouragement, upbeat attitude and understanding. The grant you awarded me gave me the much-needed space to recover and get back on my feet—without having to live in my car. As long as I live, I will never forget your kindness and generosity.”
* * *
“Thank you so very much for your gracious, generous, life-saving kindness. Each penny of what you have provided to get me back on my feet will be judiciously used to insure success. May these gifts given to me and all the others you have helped return to you and each of your distinguished Board members in what many refer to as ‘treasures in heaven.’”
“But for the help from 8-Ball, I shudder to think of the horrible position I would be in now. I will continue my quest for re-employment and when I am back on my feet I will definitely remember the 8-Ball Foundation. I thank you again for the lifeline.”
“My family and I are deeply grateful for the generous grant we received from the 8-Ball Welfare Foundation. It provided critical assistance at a strategic time of need.”
“Please accept these few lines of gratitude to the Board for your generous and quick response to my plea for help. The money has already been put to good use. It is not easy to ask for help, but sometimes reality has a way of pushing pride aside.”
“I greatly appreciated the generosity of the 8-Ball Welfare Foundation. I also want to thank you for the moral support you gave me through your letter. It really meant a great deal to me.”
“Your 8-Ball assistance is a tremendous help. I can’t thank you enough.”
* * *
In presenting a Good Works Grant, the Good News Foundation stated: “The 8-Ball Welfare Foundation lives up to its name by offering financial aid to the newsperson who finds themselves unexpectedly behind the 8-Ball.”
"Thank you so much for the welfare grant in support of my young family. It will help us so much in our poignant time of need. My wife and I feel such gratitude to be part of an industry and community that takes care of its own like this. You can expect our membership and dedication when we are steady again."
"Thank you to the 8-Ball Foundation for the most generous grant. It was badly needed and greatly appreciated. I do plan on making a contribution to the organization when my financial situation improves. Once again, thank you very much for your generosity."
"I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for your grant. It has helped me immensely. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t gotten some type of financial aid. Again, thank you and God bless you all."
FROM STUDENTS AND FACULTY
"My name is Samantha Bravo and I was one of the students that was awarded the 8-Ball Scholarship for Spring 2017 at Pierce College in Woodland Hills. I just wanted to take some time to thank you for providing students with the opportunity to continue their journey in the journalism field.
"I joined my college newspaper in 2015 and since then I have been doing what I love. Working as a reporter, news editor, managing editor, and now Editor-In-Chief. During my time at my college newspaper, I not only have been able to gain writing and editing skills, but I have learned how to work with my editorial staff and advisers.
"I have received my AA in journalism at Pierce College and will continue my education at California State University Northridge in Spring 2018. Thank you for providing grants for future working journalist.
- Samantha Bravo, Pierce College Roundup News Editor-In-Chief
* * *
"I want to thank you for allowing me to be the recipient of this grant. I think the Foundation is such an amazing organization. I’m really thankful and appreciative of you taking the time to help those journalists or aspiring journalists like myself. God Bless You."
-Sincerely, Alicia Dieguez – California State University, Northridge
* * *
"I am honored to receive this generous grant from you and the 8-Ball Welfare Foundation. More importantly, I want to personally assure you that I will take full advantage of the incredible intern opportunity in New York with CBS. The 8-Ball Foundation’s mission resonates with me and this recognition reminds me to never settle for just ‘good’ but to always strike for greatness!"
-With Sincere Thanks, Michael Serrano - California State University, Northridge
* * *
"There are no words to describe how thankful and blessed I feel to have your help and support. I am beyond humbled to be receiving such a generous gift. Thank you for all that you do for journalists and future, aspiring journalists like myself. My family and I are extremely thankful and appreciative."
-Jannette Alvarado - California State University, Northridge
* * *
"My name is Ivan. I'm with East Los Angles College Campus News. I just want to thank you and the 8-Welfare Foundation for helping me with a scholarship. I greatly appreciate it."
-Ivan Cazares, East Los Angeles College
"I just wanted to say thank you for the generous grant I received from the 8-Ball Welfare Foundation. I really appreciate it!"
- Megan G. Razzetti, East Los Angeles College Campus News
* * *
"I want to tell you thank you for the lacc scholarship. I'm very grateful and i appreciate it. Thank you very much and have a great afternoon.
-Victoria Perez, Los Angeles City College
"Thank you so much for the check presented to me by Tony Valdez this afternoon. My name is Luis Fernandez and I write and do editorial cartoons for the collegian newspaper at Los Angeles City College. This award is a huge honor bestowed upon me and I am grateful for the scholarship which I will use to buy more art supplies to further my studies and career in journalism. I hold Mr. Valdez in high esteem. He is an incredible journalist and a person to aspire to be in the journalism world. Once again Thank you and your organization."
-Luis Fernandez, Los Angeles City College
* * *
"Hello, my name is Jimmy Martinez, a student from Professor Guess’ Journalism 219 class. I would like you to know that I’m more than grateful for this scholarship. Meeting Tony Valdez, a former student at Los Angeles City College, and receiving recognition for my achievements here at LACC are a huge honor. Since the beginning of my academic career, I’ve always been unsure about how I’ll be able to pay for college later on. Although I live with them, unfortunately my parents are unable to help me with tuition. This money will be put to very good use. This past year at LACC I’ve finally been able to see my full potential as a student. I strive to be successful throughout my whole academic career and truly appreciate any help I can receive. Once again I sincerely thank you!"
-Jimmy Martinez, Los Angeles City College
2015 and earlier:
"I would like to thank the 8-Ball Welfare Foundation for the $700 that was given to me. I was very surprised to receive this check. I know that it will definitely help me in the future. Thank you so much.”
-Cal State Long Beach student
* * *
“Thank you so much for the lovely, unexpected compliment by awarding me one of the three scholarships given here at Santa Monica College. I promise to do something productive, insightful and ambitious with the money.”
-Santa Monica College student
* * *
“We wanted to take the time to thank the 8-Ball Welfare Foundation for the funds you have donated to Santa Monica College’s Journalism Program this semester. A scholarship like this can make the difference between staying in school and having to drop out. Thank you for the ongoing support you have provided to our students.”
-Journalism faculty, Santa Monica College
* * *
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the Journalism School grant I’ve received. I am honored to receive an award from such a prestigious Foundation. I am grateful for the opportunities these funds will provide me."
-Rio Hondo College Student