Nominations and Testimonials

Excellence in Innovation

Heart of Marin Award Ceremony.Marin Family Action received nominations in four categories at previous Heart of Marin Awards:

  • Excellence In Innovation: Manny Fernandez and Marin Family Action
  • Excellence in leadership: Manny Fernandez
  • Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence: Marin Family Action
  • Volunteers of the Year: Mike Ilnicki and Dianne Levy

A few hundred nominees are judged each year. All deserve awards for their fine work in our community, but, of course, all cannot win. While Marin Family Action did not win, we are proud to join the esteemed individuals and groups nominated. Excerpts from a few of our nomination letters are at the bottom of this page.

Please help us make a difference.

Success Unshared is Failure ~ John Paul DeJoria

"Manny, T. and I wanted to thank you for all your help with managing our debts . . . as you can see, we have completed/closed out many of these accounts, and also arranged payment plans for the balance. Marin Superior Court has completed all actions, and that is now behind us. We are working these one at a time as to be able to budget properly and meet our current commitments. Your office was instrumental in getting us on the right track, helping us manage our debts, and allowing Terry and I to be a little more relaxed without the stress of nightly collector's calls and assorted legal actions. We could not have done this without the support, genuine care, and helpfulness of your office and staff."

Sincerely, T. and M.

Manny and Dianne: I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for all that you do. I don't know where any of us would be without your support. I had intended on making the party today, but my 12:00 signing has been postponed to 5, so I will not be able to make the meeting. My love and thoughts are with you. Thank you again so much!

D. R.

"Thanks so much for being my legs and getting me to the Judge on time . . . you're all angels and I sure do appreciate your help!

"Manny thanks so very much for taking time to help me . . . your kindness and sweet generous spirit are a special blessing in my life. You must know that you have helped to put off the sale; the Judge would have ruled against me if I had not been able to file on time. I could not have done so if it were not for you and Rosa coming to the rescue! Thank you is not big enough for all you have done. I am so grateful for your care and concern. MIRACLES HAPPEN, and you are a miracle in my life."

Beverly D.

Dear Manny:

Saving Homes."About two years ago I found you and Marin Family Action. Prior to then, I had tried dealing with my lender, Wells Fargo, on my own. I had tried HUD agencies in both Marin and Sonoma counties. I had even tried Marin Legal Aid. (I know you don't want to "point fingers," but I don't know why they say they help with foreclosures -- they don't do anything that I know of). Only because of you and Marin Family Action have I been able to fight off foreclosure and stay in my home.

"I know I am not the only one. I have witnessed so many people coming to Marin Family Action that, like myself, could not get help anywhere else. And like them, I can never thank you enough for your undaunted dedication to helping . . . when nobody else would.

"Your spirit, your leadership, and above all your heart has kept not only the group moving forward but, has kept a lot of people from just being "thrown under the bus" or sleeping under a bridge. Bless you and the group."

Michael I.

To Manny, Nick, Rosa and Marin Family Action Families Fighting Foreclosure:

"THANK YOU. I have no idea where I would be without your support and the camaderie from MFA's meetings as we battle through America's mortgage nightmares.

"Manny, your work ethic, your non-judgmental care, your willingness to help everyone is beyond almost anything I have ever seen in human services -- and I used to manage one of the Bay Area's larger fundraisers! It was embarrassing to ask for help after a lifetime of working. But asking didn't matter initially as I did not qualify for anyone's "program," until I came to MFA. Absolutely no one else offered any help. Worse, were it up to at least one other non-profit advocacy group, I would be living in a tent under a freeway! They handed me a one-page timeline on when I could expect to lose my home.

"After two years of effort, my loan modification came about as a result of Marin Family Action's contacts. Lenders do not want to modify loans and they renege whenever possible. My lender tried to wiggle out of it repeatedly, but finally said they are going to stick by their Modification Agreement!

"Thank you so much."

D. L., San Rafael


"Manny and MFA have been able to shift their model with the greatest contemporary needs of the Marin community while continuing to serve people in a wide spectrum.  A few years ago their emphasis was on financial literacy, an area they continue with classes throughout Marin County.  With the onset of the foreclosure crisis, Manny and MFA have allocated timeFamilies Fighting Foreclosure. and attention to families who have been in danger of losing their homes.  They started a group called ‘Families Fighting Foreclosure’ which gets people the real help they need:  legal, financial and personal.

"Manny and MFA continue to find new and more effective ways to serve low and very low income families and individuals, ways which set the bar for other non-profit organizations. I  have personally met with numerous MFA clients as Manny has given specific advice and recommendations to clients on how they can repair their credit.  Manny and MFA take hands on approaches to the issues that each client presents them, and they do a great job of providing solutions that make individual lives and our community as a whole better.

"People pay a lot of lip service about helping others in our society.  Manny and MFA continue to find ways to deliver tangible results for their clients.  I’ve been to community meetings for people facing foreclosure where attendees come away with more questions than answers.  The Families Facing Foreclosure group that Manny and MFA developed exists for clients to find answers to their complex, life changing problems.  The group exists to serve the needs of those in attendance, not to help others make money off their misery.  When clients come to Manny and MFA they can be sure they will get advice and assistance that is in their own best interests." 

Excellence in Innovation – Manny Fernandez, Marin Family Action
Andy Falk – Bradley Real Estate

"We want to thank you for all your help with managing our Debts.  Attached is our current Debt Summary.  As you can see, we have Completed/Closed out many of these accounts (highlighted in Green), and also arranged payment plans for the balance (highlighted in Blue).  The Marin Superior Court has completed all actions, and that is now behind us. We still have two accounts to try to settle, as well as two in Payment Plans at a low interest rate.  We are working these one at a time as to be able to budget properly and meet our current committments. 

"Your office was instrumental in getting us on the right track, helping us manage our debts, and allowing us to be a little more relaxed without the stress of all the nightly Collector's calls and assorted Legal Actions. We could not have done this without the support, genuine care, and helpfulness of your office and staff."

T & M, Marin County

"Manny Fernandez, the Director of Marin Family Action is well deserving of the honor of becoming the recipient of this prestigious award. Manny Fernandez is one of those rare individuals who skills lead Marin Family Action with kindness and compassion giving his full attention to every person, every family who comes in to Marin Family Action and each and every unique situation. His efforts have been instrumental in providing a forum for Families Facing Foreclosure, the only group in Marin County with any success in staving off foreclosures and keeping longtime Marin County residents in their homes.

Manny has worked tirelessly to find resources for low-income housing, resources to assist families in need, families in fear of becoming homeless with no-where to go.  Manny has a charitable heart and surely gives way more than he receives.  Thanks is not a big enough word for all that Manny Fernandez does without being asked and for all that he does when asked.

He also encourages young people and families to participate in sports as an excellent way to stay healthy, to learn team cooperation, and to excel in as many areas as possible.

Manny is always willing and ready to help. He has brought hope and inspiration to all those around him..just ask the more than 300 families who have sought help at Marin Family Action they will assure you that Manny Fernandez is stellar in his abilities. In the past few weeks more than 600 other inquiries for help have contacted Manny Fernandez at Marin Family Action requesting assistance. His skills and business acumen are keen and Manny can stretch a dollar farther than any other non-profit that I know of. My nomination is for Manny Fernandez at Marin Family Action."

From B. Dubin, Bolinas

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Marin Family Action (MFA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to empower families and individuals to actively participate in improving their quality of life.

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