The Rev. Donald Shelby, founder of the Upward Bound House social service agency and former senior minister at the First United Methodist Church of Santa Monica, passed away at his home in Los Osos April 4. He was 81.

As the senior minister of the First United Methodist Church of Santa Monica from 1975 to 1998, Shelby believed passionately in serving those most in need. Having served on the Homeless Task Force of the city of Santa Monica, he mobilized his congregation in the early 1990s to develop Upward Bound House, a spokesperson for the organization said.

Since its inception, Santa Monica-based Upward Bound House has worked to assist families with children in transitioning out of homelessness.

Shelby helped develop the church parking lot into Family Place, Senior Villa, and a three-level parking garage. Without his vision, commitment, dedication, and perseverance, the more than 1,100 homeless children Upward Bound House has helped so far would have likely had a much different future, according to the organization.

Shelby’s family asks that donations in his honor be sent to Upward Bound House, 1104 Washington Ave., Santa Monica 90403. A memorial service in celebration of his life is scheduled at 11 a.m. May 12 at the First United Methodist Church, 1008 11th St., Santa Monica.

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