La Jollan to recive PCI Community Connector Award

Haida Mojdehi of La Jolla is this year’s recipient of the Project Concern International (PCI) Anne Otterson Community Connector Award (named for the late La Jolla volunteer). Mojdehi’s efforts will be honored at PCI’s Hands Across Borders gala, Oct. 27 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

“Civic-minded leaders with hearts like Haida’s are the driving force behind PCI’s impact,” said Carrie Hessler-Radelet, PCI President & CEO. “Her time, talents and energy are ever-focused on uplifting others in need, and we are grateful for her unwavering support of our programs.”

Of the recognition, Mojdehi told La Jolla Light: “To say I’m honored by this recognition is an understatement. I knew Anne Otterson for a few years before she passed away, but had heard of her for so long, I knew what an amazing philanthropic woman she was. She wanted to make a difference. She was very global ... she was one person who believed the world is a better place that is best for us all. Never us versus them. I’d like to be like her.”

The Anne Otterson Community Connector Award is presented to those who emulate Otterson in her effort to connect communities locally and worldwide with the services they need.

Mojdehi has been involved with PCI in some capacity for six years. She said she was inspired to get involved by her daughter, Lily. While a junior at The Bishop’s School, Lily engaged in fundraising for PCI to build a shelter home for boys in India, and got to visit the house their funds built.

“When Lily came back, she was really moved by the experience. I started going to their programs and got involved with committees and put my heart and soul into it, too,” Mojdehi said. “I joined the board four years ago.”

In that time, she has largely volunteered with outreach efforts to Tijuana, through which community members are trained to administer vaccines and establish vegetable gardens to promote health and nutrition in needy communities.

According to press material, PCI supports people in 18 countries gain access to health services, nutritious food, clean water, education and economic opportunities; seeks to reduce human trafficking; promotes women’s causes that support healthy pregnancies and child rearing; and more, thanks to 47,000 volunteers around the world.

“What resonates with me, and what I love the most, is how PCI approaches global giving and global aid,” Mojdehi said. “PCI empowers the members of the respective community and, together, they create programs. PCI respects other cultures so, it doesn’t feel like someone telling someone else what to do; it’s working together,”

The gala at which Mojdehi will be honored seeks to raise $500,000 to support PCI programming. This year’s Hands Across Borders gala will highlight PCI’s efforts to ensure vulnerable children at home and abroad have the chance to lead safe, healthy and productive lives. Within San Diego, the global nonprofit teaches students how to recognize and report the signs of human trafficking, while also empowering them to make choices that increase their safety and resilience.

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— For gala tickets, contact Elaine Murphy at emurphy@pciglobal.org For more information, visit PCIGlobal.org

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