Lighting Up Lives


Carlee Stuart, Journalist

Lighthouse Charities is a fantastic organization right here in Las Vegas. The goal is to help as many refugees in need as possible. The charity first started as a food distribution agency but now is a full time resettlement agency. 

Volunteer coordinator, Tani Nihipali, stated, “Lighthouse Charities is a small nonprofit organization based in North Las Vegas.  We assist refugees who are resettling in the Las Vegas valley with English language classes and employment training programs.  We serve refugees from all over the world!”

Lighthouse charities give refugees a foundation. It gives them jobs, it provides food, and it teaches them English. It prepares them for how to live on their own in America. ”

— Brea Nenneman

After over 7 years, this organization is doing so well from the help of volunteers and donations. Most of the time people will not go out of their way to help those struggling which is what sets the owner of Lighthouse Charities apart. The organization wanted to do more for people and sought out a way to do that.

“Lighthouse Charities was founded by Cindy Trussel,” says Nihipali. “Cindy was a single mom involved with food rescue, serving her church community.  She had a friend who was teaching school in an impoverished area of town where a large number of refugee children were going home on the weekends without any food.  She had this clear impression that wouldn’t go away that she was feeding the wrong people, that there were others who needed it more.”

Now there is a huge community helping the refugees and doing all that they can from helping to feed, teach, and house those in need. The engagement from local residents makes all the difference for so many lives. Volunteers are always needed and always welcomed.

Brea Nenneman, senior, said, “I teach English lessons (ESL classes) and so I get to know all of the refugees really well. I also help with food distribution every other Thursday. For Christmas we had a Christmas party with them and got to meet their families which was super fun.” 

Lighthouse Charities brings many amazing opportunities to those who volunteer and those who are in need. Even when students are the ones teaching, they can learn so much from another person.

Nihipali says, “At Lighthouse Charities, miracles happen every day.  I am not exaggerating when I share this.  Impossible situations change.  Donors walk through the doors without knowing why.  Connections to those who can help appear out of nowhere when they are most needed.”

It is so amazing to see the change being made from the involvement of many individuals. Lighthouse Charities gives students at Shadow a great opportunity to volunteer and help in the Las Vegas community.