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Get to Know Erica Pope from Rocklin

Oct 14, 2019 10:16AM
Rocklin resident Erica Pope remembers a childhood bustling with activity, especially cooking and cleaning—not for her family, but for others. “My parents were always doing community work and bringing people together,” she fondly recalls. Their example influenced Pope’s decision to go into the nonprofit field where she worked in fund development and community outreach for Eskaton Foundation, an organization that provides care and support services for seniors while giving caregivers time for themselves. “I loved feeling like I was making a difference in somebody’s life,” Pope shares. 
But Pope’s life took an unexpected turn when she had to stop working to care for a family member who was ill. At the same time, she learned that she would need spinal surgery. Yet, Pope was eager to get back to the career she loved and after her recovery, she jumped at the chance to become the new Director of Development for the Me-One Foundation (me-onefoundation.org), a local nonprofit that funds an annual pampering weekend retreat in the Santa Monica mountains for adult cancer patients and their family members. Like many others, Pope has had family and friends affected by cancer and she knows how impactful such services can be. She’s also a mom of two who hopes to inspire her children to help others just as her own parents once did for her. “We all have a social responsibility,” Pope says. “The community gives so much to us and we should give back.” 

By Amber Foster


Q&A

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Take care of your body and mind. They will either serve you well or catch up to you. Either way, what you do when you’re young will influence the rest of your life.
 
What comes to you naturally?
Public speaking. I love the challenge of engaging an audience and that moment when you know you have them.
 
Are you high or low maintenance?
I’m high maintenance when it comes to food, shoes, and coffee. But I’m low maintenance when it comes to vacations or entertainment. I’m content sitting around a campfire or playing board games.
 
Biggest life inspirations?
Both my mom and dad are incredibly remarkable and inspiring but my biggest life inspirations come from the journeys and stories of all the people I know and have yet to meet. Everyone has a story and a lesson if we take the time to listen.
 
What are you most proud of?
Keeping two children alive. I understand why wild animals occasionally eat their young. My children are 16 and 8 so anything is still possible. 
 
Favorite humanitarian cause?
Cancer causes and hunger. My dad often went hungry as a child and the few stories he shared were heartbreaking. No one should ever have to experience that—especially children. 
 
Best words of wisdom you’ve received?
“Always be on your best behavior when you are out and about. You never know who knows you or knows someone who knows you.”-Izetta Jansma (my grandmother)

Favorites

AUTHOR/WRITER
Barbara Kingsolver and Geoffrey Chaucer

MEAL IN TOWN
Sweet Pig Pizza at The Place

MOVIE
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

MUSICIAN/BAND
Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Beatles

LOCAL LANDMARK
Marie’s Donuts on Watt Avenue
(I have been going there for 40 years. )

ESCAPE
Stinson Beach

PLACE TO BUY A GIFT, LOCALLY
High-Hand Nursery Fruit Shed

ANNUAL EVENT
Me-One Foundation Masquerade Ball

SAYING
Be a good human! (Something I tell my children every day.)