Renowned Los Angeles community leader, Sweet Alice Harris, will be honored for her 30+ years of charitable service to the Los Angeles and Watts community on World Charity Day. Sweet Alice Harris is the founder and executive director of The Parents of Watts organization, a local youth outreach group that provides mental heath assistance, child development and learning opportunities for underprivileged children, and safe havens for battered women and families in need.
Susie Hyman of Susie’s Deals Specialty Stores has partnered with The Parents of Watts organization to create an interactive charity drive gift card program, and will match 10% of any funds donated.
Alice Harris is the power behind POW — Parents of Watts, a powerful and positive community force. In jail at 12, a mother at 14, homeless by 16, now 73 — and the mother of nine — can empathize with many of the people POW helps. As a teenager in Detroit, Alice had her life turned around by a caring family who helped her gain and master the tools to succeed and grow. Since moving to Watts in 1958 to care for her ailing mother, Alice has offered that same care to her neighbors and their children.
As a community activist and now director of POW, Alice has sought to ease the frictions between the African-American and Hispanic residents of her community. A witness to the 1965 riots, Alice and a cadre of volunteers worked out of her house to help rebuild the community. Linking with other civic groups, Alice formed the Black and Brown Committee, which eventually became Parents of Watts in 1979. Today, POW operates more than 15 programs in eight houses purchased by Alice. It provides emergency food and shelter, family counseling, tutoring, parenting classes, employment training, literacy courses, college and career preparation, and housing assistance for anyone who needs it.
Alice Harris was voted Ms. magazine Woman of the Year, 1988, one of Maxwell House Coffee’s “100 Real Heroes,” 1992; was named President George Bush’s “703rd Daily Point of Light,” 1992; American Award from the Positive Thinking Foundation, 1992; Essence Award, 1993. In 2002, California lieutenant governor Cruz Bustamante named Harris Woman of the Year in honor of her community outreach efforts through Parents of Watts.In 2007, The Women’s Conference awarded Harris a Minerva Award
To celebrate the launch of the interactive charity drive, Sweet Alice Harris and Susie Hyman will be teaming together for an exciting afternoon kick off affair to take place on October 10, 2010, from 3:00-5:00 PM at 6039 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90042.