About Us

 A Magic Penny is a Nonprofit organization offering volunteer opportunities for families who want to model and lead a philanthropic lifestyle with their children.

We schedule events in varying areas of philanthropy, thereby providing opportunities both for giving back to meaningful causes, and an avenue of self-discovery for each child.

A Magic Penny was inspired by Founder Lauren Alon’s generous, loving mother-in-law’s philanthropic nature and magical presence. Bila Alon’s memory lives in our hearts and so we strive to share her guiding light with the world. She demonstrated how giving is always gratifying, and she often sang The Magic Penny song, ‘love is something if you give it away, give it away, give it away. Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more.’

So, it is in Bila’s honor that A Magic Penny was founded on July 15, 2015. A Magic Penny provides a supportive and nurturing environment that empowering parents to introduce altruism, social awareness, community and environmental care to children through volunteer activities.

This meaningful and heartwarming journey brings Bila’s legacy into the everyday lives of her children and grandchildren and is now shared with great joy to other families. Join us in sharing Bila’s legacy and the song in her heart. Just like a magic penny, we aim to spread love and share in the joy of giving back through service. 

Our Team

The leadership team brings together staff and board members from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and careers. This dedicated team of social workers, teachers, nurses, parents, and philanthropic experts aim to provide your family with opportunities for self-discovery, learning, and creating a foundation for leading a philanthropic lifestyle. 

Lauren Alon

Founder and Director of A Magic Penny

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, where I held my first volunteer and staff positions in Social Service agencies. In 1997, I graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Special Education and Rehabilitation, with a minor in Spanish. In 2001, I graduated from University of Southern California with a Masters in Social Work, and became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2007.

Marissa Nadjarian

Service Learning Director

As a native Angeleno, I am honored to be a part of A Magic Penny’s leadership team to help families experience philanthropy and strengthen our Los Angeles community through service. I have strong memories of being motivated to serve the community as early as first grade, which continued through college while
I obtained a degree in Psychology and Education from the University of California, Berkeley.

Janet Imerman

Vice Chair, Board Member

I am honored to serve on the executive board of The Magic Penny, which was started by my daughter, Lauren. Through this organization my children and grandchildren have become active participants in the art of giving by doing. The concept of families volunteering together has always been dear to my heart. 

Michelle Eskenazi Wasser

Outreach and Partnerships Director

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, where I held my first volunteer and staff positions in Social Service agencies. In 1997, I graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Special Education and Rehabilitation, with a minor in Spanish. In 2001, I graduated from University of Southern California with a Masters in Social Work, and became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2007.

Raschel Barlow

Social Media Specialist and Board Member

As a native Angeleno, I am honored to be a part of A Magic Penny’s leadership team to help families experience philanthropy and strengthen our Los Angeles community through service. I have strong memories of being motivated to serve the community as early as first grade, which continued through college while
I obtained a degree in Psychology and Education from the University of California, Berkeley.

Stephanie Francis Teppers

Chief Financial Officer and Board Member

I am honored to serve on the executive board of The Magic Penny, which was started by my daughter, Lauren. Through this organization my children and grandchildren have become active participants in the art of giving by doing. The concept of families volunteering together has always been dear to my heart. 

Amy Liu

Board Member

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, where I held my first volunteer and staff positions in Social Service agencies. In 1997, I graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Special Education and Rehabilitation, with a minor in Spanish. In 2001, I graduated from University of Southern California with a Masters in Social Work, and became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2007.

Steven Switzer

Advisory Board Member

As a native Angeleno, I am honored to be a part of A Magic Penny’s leadership team to help families experience philanthropy and strengthen our Los Angeles community through service. I have strong memories of being motivated to serve the community as early as first grade, which continued through college while
I obtained a degree in Psychology and Education from the University of California, Berkeley.

Our Sponsors

Alon, LLP
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West Valley Nursery
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The Art Club Instruction
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My Gym Encino
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GoGo Squeeze
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Gymboree
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Bare Fruit
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Bloomingsteps Physical Therapy, Piano Play
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Magic Years Nursery School
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LRM Publicity Firm
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We Rock the Spectrum
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Layla Dance Academy
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Frozen Fruit Co
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REMO INC

REMO INC
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Our Mission & Vision

Our Mission

To engage families, with children of all ages, in philanthropy through frequent and diverse volunteer and charitable opportunities.

Our Vision

To support parents and guardians in modeling philanthropy and empower children to give back throughout their lives.

Our Partner

  • Heal the Bay
  • Trash for Teaching (T4T)
  • NatureBridge
  • EnrichLA
  • Star Eco Station
  • Best Friends Shelter/NKLA
  • Heal the Bay
  • Trash for Teaching (T4T)
  • NatureBridge
  • EnrichLA
  • Star Eco Station
  • Best Friends Shelter/NKLA
  • Hope of the Valley Rescue Center
  • A Place Called Home
  • Worthy of Love
  • The Children’s Bureau
  • Big Sunday
  • Acencia
  • San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission
  • SOVA Community Food and Resource Program (Jewish Federation of So Cal)
  • Aviva Family and Children’s Services
  • Sojourn (OPCC Domestic Violence Department)
  • Haven Hills
  • Operation Gratitude
  • Discovery Cube
  • Big Sunday
  • Brooks Foundation
  • The Children’s Bureau
  • generationOn
  • Points of Light?