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Angel in Redondo Beach, California

Longtime Volunteer Named Dodger's "All-Star"

Alma Martinez, who has lived in Redondo Beach for 29 years, will be honored as the Dodger's "All-Star Among Us" at Tuesday night's Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

By Jenna Zwang | Email the author | July 13, 2010
 Alma Martinez shares stories with a fellow All-Star.

Photos

Alma Martinez shares stories with a fellow All-Star.
The All-Stars posed for a picture. Alma Martinez is seated onthe right.
The 30 All-Stars, with Alma Martinez seated on the right.

Alma Martinez may have liked the Dodgers before, but she's now one of their biggest fans.

That's because the Redondo Beach resident was named the team's "All-Star Among Us," in recognition of her work with Amigos Sin Barreras, or Friends Without Borders. Martinez and 30 other All-Stars will be honored in a ceremony immediately before the 81st Major League Baseball All-Star Game tonight at 5:00 PM.

The program, which she founded, assists low-income HIV-positive Los Angeles residents and their families with medical care and food, as well as furnishing them with a support system.

Martinez said her work with AIDS patients began, "almost a hundred years ago when I was very young." When a supervisor asked a group of employees at Martinez's work if anyone felt comfortable working with babies who were HIV-positive, Martinez raised her hand.

"Shortly after, I found out that my son was HIV positive. So it was almost like God was preparing me for this," Martinez said.

Her son went through periods of critical illness where he required intensive services.

"I thought, well, he can not work and he can have the services he needs. But what about poor people? What do they do?" explained Martinez. To answer her own question, she started Amigos Sin Barreras.

Since Martinez's program began in 1994, it has since assisted thousands, providing care for over 450 low-income HIV-positive South Bay residents and their families.

The recognition from the Dodgers comes at a time when state funding for Amigos Sin Barreras has been significantly reduced. Martinez hopes that the recognition from "All-Stars Among Us" will allow for her organization to retain the backing it needs, and that it will ultimately lead to the establishment of her ultimate dream: Casa De Amigos.

"Right now what I'm hoping for is to have a home. I want there to be a place where [people who have AIDS] can go and have acute care until they are able to be on their own again," Martinez said. She wants Casa De Amigos to be a hospice where no one has to die alone.

"If enough people see this and say, well, I have this or I have that that I could donate, then I will have my dream come true before I go," said Martinez.

More than 1.7 million votes were cast at PeopleAllStars.com by fans across the country in order to select the 3- winners out of a pool of 90 finalists. This is the second year of the campaign, which debuted in 2009 and recognizes individuals serving their communities in extraordinary ways.

  • Angel in Redondo Beach Featured Video Angel in Redondo Beach

    TRIBUTE TO AMIGOS SIN BARRERAS / FRIENDS WITHOUT BARRIERS: Amigos Sin Barreras/Friends Without Barriers, Redondo Beach, California Receives Jefferson Award November 19, 2010 |... More »

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Grateful for Hearts Speaking to One Another Last Updated on 2010-12-29 15:46:30 Grateful for Hearts Speaking to One Another: From Pat to Alma: with love for ALMA and Bb and amigos.. from me :) Video by YUBUPA AND ALMA REPLIES: "As many videos that have been done, this is the most moving, most intact, and most touching of all.  It is flawless, and I cannot find the words to thank you for this beautiful presentation.  God bless ABC4All, you, Burt, and especially this lovely Angel, Yubupa, for caring with so much compassion.  I am so blessed!  God is Good!  Peace and goodness to all of you!"  --Alma Martinez, Founder, Amigos Sin Barreras / Friends Without Barriers I believe it is a good thing that Alma was at least minimally prepared that this was coming. When hearts speak to one another, the rest of us make way. Tributes from/to are the norm for the day. Precious and special yes. Amazing of course. Dedicated to... More »
Angel in Redondo Beach Last Updated on 2010-11-20 00:00:00 TRIBUTE TO AMIGOS SIN BARRERAS / FRIENDS WITHOUT BARRIERS: Amigos Sin Barreras/Friends Without Barriers, Redondo Beach, California Receives Jefferson Award November 19, 2010 | Redondo Beach, California |   iReport — Amigos Sin Barreras/Friends Without Barriers, Redondo Beach, California "Kernel of Hope" Receives Jefferson Award  profiled on ABC7 Television 6 O'clock News in Los Angeles FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT Burton Danet, Ph.D., Co-Founder, ABC4All Portal4Relief http://home.abc4all.net/ 1-310-712-5477   Alma L. Martinez, President /Founder, Amigos Sin Barreras / Friends Without Barriers,  (310) 316-7074 or (310) 540-1344. www.amigosonline.org Non-Profit ID # 95-4490952    Nov 19, 2010 – Redondo Beach, CA (AWWN) – Amigos Sin Barreras/Friends Without Barriers (Amigos), Redondo Beach, California Nonprofit Organization has been chosen to receive... More »