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Hero Highlight: Joseph Patterson and Pokelanthropy Inc.

PokelanthropyJoseph Patterson is a 26-year-old CEO making a difference in the world. His charity organization, Pokelanthropy Inc., works to enrich the lives of children and young adults in need, by introducing the interactive and exciting hobby of Pokémon card trading and collecting of Pokémon cards. He has been a collector of Pokémon cards for as long as he can remember. Thousands of cards get thrown away because collectors discard the ones they don’t want in their pursuit for the cards they are looking for. “I started to think about how much this effected the planet, and I knew I wanted to do something about it,” he said. 

The nonprofit sector is not new to Joseph. In the past, he has worked with the Pacific Marine Mammal Care Center, Heal The Bay, Marine Mammal Care Center, Olive Crest, Wayfinder Family Services, and The Mary Vilencia Project. Helping these organization is what led him to start Pokelanthropy.

As a former foster youth, himself, Joseph has found a passion for the advocacy of foster children, animals, and the environment. Due to family circumstances, Joseph and his little brother found themselves moving from foster home to foster home. He and his brother eventually found the stability they needed in their lives. While it took many interesting pathways, Joseph has found his way by striving in school and volunteering. He is currently enrolled as an upperclassman at California State University, Los Angeles and is finishing up the veterinary prerequisites to apply for Veterinary Graduate School. His current goals are to finish his bachelors’ program then apply to graduate school within D.V.M. licensing. He is also considering obtaining a master’s degree in nonprofit management.  


After scouting out potential organizations, Joseph decided to partner with the Children’s Foundation of America. “Coming from a foster care background, I really wanted to work with agencies helping a cause that I feel passionate about.” Pokelanthropy, in collaboration with Sigma Alpha Epsilon and SAE of Cal State LA, donated 200 sets of Pokémon cards which will be used for our monthly Birthday-in-a-Bag Campaign that celebrates the birthdays of children in foster care. The youth we serve do enjoy Pokémon cards and the donation has been welcomed with excitement from both direct care workers and the children they serve.

Our impact is thanks to inspiring individuals, like Joseph, who support our mission. If you’d like to donate to our Birthday-in-a-bag campaign, click here! 

Isabel Millward-Pena
Isabel contributes content for our social media, blog, newsletters and promotional materials. She recently earned a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University San Bernardino and is currently working on her master’s degree. Isabel began working with our team as an intern and, luckily for us, never left. Prior to her work at CFA, she was a substitute instructional aid and a supervisor at Starbucks. She has also volunteered as an aid at local elementary schools and notably achieved “Partner of the Quarter” at Starbucks in 2017.