Readers of my books know well the moment in a movie when a hero does something nice — like save a cat — endears him to us and makes us root for him.

But the act itself stands alone.

The universal truth is that acts of selflessness, charity, and plain kindness not only help the world, but give us a renewed life as well.

Yet we rarely get a chance to act.

I want to speak on behalf of an organization here in Los Angeles that needs our help, and gives us all the opportunity to give back to a truly worthy cause.

Every night in LA there are 7,000 homeless families (approximately 15,000 children) who are sleeping on the streets, in their cars, or in and out of shelters, including missions in Skid Row — and the situation is getting worse!

Beyond Shelter’s “Housing First” program has been helping homeless families with children for over 20 years. Through their efforts, over 4,000 families have moved into permanent housing in residential neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County. Once back in housing at rents they can afford, parents are able to begin the process of rebuilding their lives for themselves and for their children.

For those many families, Beyond Shelter is their last hope. With your help, we can give them hope — and a hand.

Take time for a moment to think of a family that once felt safe — they were renting a home, had a job, paid their bills, and then the pink slip came, or their hours were cut, or their landlord defaulted. These families who were getting by are now homeless… their children are homeless.

I serve on Beyond Shelter’s Emergency Campaign Committee, and I am challenging Cat! Nation to save homeless families! This week (June 15-19), we need to raise $25,000 in five days.

Please make your best gift to help these families.

I know your generosity will make the difference.

June 22: We’re extending the campaign through June 30. Here are the names of our generous contributors (so far):

Elizabeth Fais
Debby Chang
Jennifer Chang
Barry Cutler
Paul Brannigan
Mike Rinaldi
Claudia Kim Wolfkind
Jeff Stearns
John Bradford Richardson
Scott Woehrer
Brian Finney
Peggy Schatz
Shane Laporte
Yasuko Whitmore
David Strom
Alex Tucker
Forrest Knutson
Pat Flaherty
Marty Lang
Anne Lower

Thank you one and all!