My name is Sarah. I am an only child, half Mexican and half Caucasian. I am an owner of 3 businesses and co-founder of a 501(c)(3), lover of Non-profit life (my 2018 motto had to be “Say No to NPO” because I was committed more than I needed to be), and the Raddest Mom in Reno (at least that is what the sticker on my car says). I like to be busy; I like to make change for the best happen! I own Reno/Tahoe Realty Group, LLC, but my passion is my non-profit, The Dreams Foundation, Inc.
My parents and I started our non-profit to make greater change. We had always been big givers to other non-profits and tithed into our church, but it wasn’t until one of our own agents within our company was in need that we took action to form our own non-profit foundation. Our agent's son had been living in Canada, and she was so excited for him to come visit. Just two days before his trip home, she received a call that he had passed away in his sleep (he had an unknown heart defect). She asked us if we would help her get her son's body back home. My mother was very sensitive to the situation, having lost a son herself, so we were happy to help. The experience was such a learning curve for us! We discovered that, despite the expenses we incurred (several thousand dollars) to move the body across international borders, we were only allowed to write off $25.00. As a family we asked each other, “Where do people get help with specialty needs?” After lots of research, we found that there was not much help out there and we decided to start our non-profit.
Since 2012, we have given away $535,000 in Humanitarian Donations and have worked with other non-profits and faith-based organizations. Our main objective is to give to people who pay it forward. We have paid for braces for a man with a severe stutter who now coaches people with disabilities, funerals for family matriarchs, book scholarships for single moms with young children, families who are caring for children whose parents were killed, and then other non-profits as Renown Health Foundation, Human Society, AIDs Foundation of Nevada, Solace Tree, CARE Chest of Sierra Nevada, Veterans’ House, and many more.
My proudest and most recent accomplishment is being asked to serve on the board of directors for Renown Health Foundation, which is the biggest health system in Northern Nevada. My experience in their NICU with my son forever changed my life. I wanted to give families a sense of normalcy while in the NICU, because it is anything but normal. I wanted to help make things easier for the NICU medical staff (specifically the nurses). They gave me my son's health and I cannot thank them enough. I started with the NICU Preemie and NICU Pajama drive in 2016; we collected 302 pairs of pajamas, 168 blankets, literature for families, as well as monetary donations. The next project we took on was purchasing $50,000 worth of medical grade bassinets for the NICU. Not only are they safer than the metal carts the babies had been in, but the nurses can chart on them, and families can store personal effects in them like a dresser. Because of the work I do for the NICU, I was asked if our family would like to be part of the NICU campaign to raise money for the NICU remodel. Here is our story. This campaign was nominated for a national advertising award, and we were so honored to be a part of this project.