Eric Occhipinti, a lifelong resident of Rancho Peñasquitos, proclaimed, “I enjoy living here because, as they say, ‘Home is where the heart is,’ and my heart beats for PQ.” Describing himself as a “very happy, outgoing, positive, down-to-earth person,” Eric is the owner of an organic cold press juice, snack, and puree company. Hoping to spread the health benefits of his business, Eric founded the nonprofit organization March for Mothers Inc. for those in need of better nutritional health.
March for Mothers Inc. works in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Vista and the 1,000 Smiles Clinic, which both provide funding and services to correct cosmetic and dental deformities in children born with cleft palates. Eric revealed, “Unfortunately, some of the children selected for this operation are too malnourished to safely undergo anesthesia, so they are put on a separate waiting list until they are healthy enough for the surgery. March for Mothers Inc. feeds these children fresh, locally-sourced organic baby food, which
I make and hand deliver twice a week until they are healthy enough for the life-changing operation.”
Included in Eric’s efforts was a series of 365-mile round-trip deliveries over a period of 90 days so that one baby could become well enough for her cleft palate surgery. ABC 10News discovered Eric’s quest and others like it, ultimately leading to a televised segment in which Eric received the 10News LEADership Award. Eric humbly commented, “I am so fortunate to have the ability to create an organization that believes in the importance of investing in women and children. I truly believe that by empowering women and children, you empower a nation.”
“I truly believe that by empowering women and children, you empower a nation.”
For those interested in helping out with the cause, Eric recommends you go to the website and sign up to receive the March for Mothers Inc. newsletter. He added, “We’re doing a lot of amazing things, and are always proactive in creating new projects to make a positive impact in various communities.”
In his free time, Eric loves outdoor activities. He clarified, “My father has always been an outdoorsman, so the majority of my hobbies, such as rock climbing, camping, and fishing, are because he taught me.” No doubt, Eric will continue to inspire us with his ongoing humanitarian endeavors.
Name: Eric Lee Occhipinti
Community: Rancho Peñasquitios
Volunteer Affiliation: Owner and founder March for Mothers Inc., Rotary Club of Vista, Rotary Club of Ensenada, Flying Samaritans of UCSD, Create Purpose
Profession: Owner of Cold Rx
Hobbies & Interests: Skydiving, indoor and outdoor rock climbing, gymnastics, weightlifting, gun range, camping, fishing, and Polaroid photography
Favorite Spots in 92129: Golden Bagel, Deli Stop, Pitchers, Cheers
Group: March for Mothers Inc.
Mission: To alleviate poverty and to eradicate diet-related illnesses around the world while bringing peace, love compassion, and equality to all humankind.