Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia Honors Lift to Rise as Nonprofit of the Year 2022

Lift to Rise Receives Statewide Award in Sacramento Ceremony

Lift to Rise Nonprofit of the Year 2022
Lift to Rise awarded Nonprofit of the Year, 2022

(Sacramento, CA) – Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) names Lift to Rise, Coachella Valley-based organization, as Nonprofit of the Year. On Wednesday, June 8, Heather Vaikona, President and CEO of Lift to Rise, joined Assemblymember Garcia in Sacramento for an awards ceremony held at the State Capitol. Lift to Rise’s Director of Resident Engagement, Joe Mota; Board Chair, Nadia Villagran; Board Secretary, Bea Gonzalez; and Resident Leadership Table member, Deiter Crawford also attended in representation of the nonprofit. 


“It is an honor to be awarded the nonprofit of the year by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia,” said Heather Vaikona, President and CEO of Lift to Rise. “We are so grateful for his leadership and the collective leadership of folks who choose to work together to keep our neighbors housed. Together community residents and more than 50 local partners are forging a better future for everyone who calls the Coachella Valley home.”


“We are proud to recognize Lift to Rise as our Nonprofit of the Year. This organization stepped up and mobilized as one of our community’s pandemic heroes. The rental assistance program they facilitated helped thousands of families keep a roof over their heads during this challenging time,” stated Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia. “Our communities rely on the essential services provided by our local nonprofits, and this has never been more true than during the last two years. Lift to Rise rose to the occasion in an extraordinary way and we are grateful for this opportunity to honor their team. I commend the visionary leadership of CEO Heather Vaikona along with her team and board of directors. We are proud partners of their mission and most especially our mutual goal to support affordable housing development in our region.” 


In selecting Lift to Rise as his honoree, Assemblymember Garcia hopes to recognize the organization’s pandemic response and regional housing efforts. In partnership with Inland SoCal United Way and the County of Riverside, Lift to Rise’s United Lift Rental and Utility Assistance Program supported over 75,000 renters financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Founded in 2014, Lift to Rise is dedicated to addressing the underlying causes and consequences of inequities in the Coachella Valley. They specialize in building partnerships between private and public sector leaders, community advocates, and residents. Their efforts have demonstrated that you can create a greater impact through enhanced regional collaborations. 


Since 2016, California legislators have been invited to select Nonprofit of the Year honorees from their district to receive statewide recognition. The California Nonprofits Day Luncheon, organized by the California Association of Nonprofits, highlights the important role nonprofits play within our state.