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It’s the season of giving thanks, and Auberle would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to donors who are making a difference — donors like Bob Mallet. Bob served on the Pauline Auberle Foundation Board of Directors for eight years. He continues to support the organization because, in his own words, “There is no greater gift than reaching out to someone who’s fallen down, putting your arm around their shoulders, and helping them get back up.”
Bob sees Auberle as a beacon of hope and second chances for people who’ve been dealt a difficult hand in life. His connection to this mission, he said, stems from the lessons his parents taught him as a child.
“My mother was a social worker, so she knew firsthand that so many people in this country are hungry, have no roof over their heads, and can’t meet basic needs,” Bob recalled. “She and my dad reminded me how fortunate I was to go to school, have a safe, comfortable home… but they also taught me that those things don’t make us better than anyone else. In fact, we have an obligation to help people in need.”
For Bob, Auberle is a way to do just that. When he served on the board, Bob saw firsthand many of the services Auberle offers its clients. That inside look inspires his philanthropy.
“I was most amazed by the 412 Youth Zone. How incredible that these young people have a safe, beautiful space to learn life skills, socialize, enjoy a meal and activities, get their driver’s license, and apply for jobs,” Bob shared. When he first visited, Bob learned that the 412 Youth Zone had an ongoing need for hygiene products — so he donated hundreds of toothbrushes, bars of soap, and bottles of shampoo and conditioner.
“We needed a dolly to get it all upstairs, and the staff members’ eyes went as wide as marshmallows when they saw it,” Bob laughed. “The staff at Auberle are truly special. They view helping others as the most important thing in the world. I’m honored to empower them in their work however I can.”
In addition to our staff, Bob says that he is deeply inspired by our clients. His most recent philanthropic contribution to Auberle pays tribute to his admiration for the hard work they do on their journeys to better lives.
“Five years ago, I visited Israel,” Bob shared, “and one day, I saw a group of soldiers having a meeting. I asked the man walking with me what they were doing, and he said, ‘They are picking their own leader.’ It occurred to me that as a soldier, you’d pick the person you trusted most to protect you. Not the best-looking, toughest, or most popular, but the one who’d help you survive. This idea resonated with me, that we find fulfillment from someone outside our group, like our boss, our supervisor, our parents… and it sparked an idea.”
Bob decided to give a cash prize to two Auberle clients — one from the men’s facility and one from the women’s facility — who had made the most progress over the past year. The recipients are determined by a vote of their peers, empowering our clients to lift each other up and recognize their incredible achievements. 2021 marked the inaugural award, and now, the Robert Mallet Award will be given out every year at the annual All Star Banquet. It’s yet another reason we are grateful for the steadfast support of donors like Bob.
“I just love Auberle,” Bob said. “It’s a wonderful place, and I’m proud to support what they do.”