Natalie Shadle says she’s always had a soft spot in her heart for children, so it’s no surprise this college student puts children in need at the forefront of her nonprofit organization, Rose Again Foundation.
“I’ve always had a heart for kids, and it’s always been an easy response when others ask whether I plan to work with them in the future,” Shadle said.
In 2012 she and her father, Craig, went on a mission trip to an orphanage in Guatemala City called Dorie’s Promise.
“There we learned of the utter devastation surrounding many of the kids’ lives, but were taken aback as we realized the true joy in their hearts,” she said. “These kids had been abandoned, sold, beaten, found as infants lying in the dump … you name it, it was reality. Yet, before each meal they would all hold hands and sing praises, smiles stretching from ear to ear.”
Shadle said some nights before bed, the children would blast music and everyone would watch, awe-struck, as the children bounced, laughed, and danced the day’s troubles away, “as though none of it had ever existed.”
Shadle said she and her father returned home with a new perspective on life. It was this insight into the plight of less fortunate children that led her to come up with the idea to form Rose Again Foundation.
“I’d done some traveling in Europe, Canada, and Mexico before but had never witnessed something as beautiful as this,” she said. “We realized that these kids had risen out of extreme hardship and turmoil, only because of the way that this specific orphanage provided hands on, nurturing, wholesome family care.”
Shadle said she first approached her father with the idea to begin the foundation after returning from Guatemala. Her goal was to create a foundation which would aid in providing a safe, nurturing, and home-life experience to orphaned and foster children in the area.
She began to put together a team that she knew could help facilitate her dream of a foundation to help children and families facing hardships here in Southern California.
The team included Wendy Gorham, head of Humanities at Rancho Christian Schools; Rhonda Reinke, former honorary mayor of Fallbrook, retired small business owner, president of S.A.F.E. and Shadle’s grandmother; Craig Shadle the CFO of RQ Construction and president of the Rancho Christian School board; Jeffrey Dixon, a nursing student at California Baptist University and community volunteer; and Kristen Hufford the Marketing Manager for Camp Pendleton and retired marine.
Together the group works to help meet the needs of children in the local community.
“Similar to the children in Guatemala, we wanted to help children here, in a sense, rise again from the hardship that has swallowed up their histories,” Shadle said. “Hence, our name became Rose Again.”
To help support the less fortunate children within the local community Shadle has enlisted the help of her friend, Temecula resident, Xenia Martinez.
Now 19, Martinez, who competed on Blake Shelton’s team during season one of the hit NBC television show “The Voice,” will headline a concert in October to raise funds for the nonprofit.
Martinez, who was only 16 when she competed on the show, finished second on Blake’s team but was eliminated in the semi final rounds. Her second EP, “Artemisa,” titled after her grandmother, is set to be released later this fall.
Rose Again foundation is currently looking for sponsors for the Oct. 11 concert event also featuring local favorite Dulaney & Co. Sponsorships range in price from $1,000 – $3,000 and can be purchased online by contacting board secretary Rhonda Reinke at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (951) 970-2518.
Tickets are $18 and on sale now. They can be purchased online at www.RoseAgainFoundation.org. Reserved table seating is available. Concert goers are invited to purchase additional tickets for use by foster children and to bring along a book to donate to the cause.