You can help make our community better by volunteering your time. The following entries are just a few of many opportunities that are available.
Pet Adoptions in Culver City with Heads to Tails. Meet at Centinella Feed and Pet Supplies 5299 Sepulveda Blvd. Just north of Jefferson Blvd. Also, Pet Smart Adoptions held at 10900 West Jefferson Blvd in Culver City, just east of Sepulveda Blvd. Contact Patti Hooper at 310-390-5338 for further information and to sign up.
Voice for the Animals Help set up the site on Sunday at Swarthmore and Sunset in Pacific Palisades at the entrance to the Farmers' Market. Walk dogs which are up for adoption. Contact Mary Miller at 310-392-5153.
Access Books Collect gently used children's books to be donated to an inner city elementary school library. New books are accepted also. Help sort donated books and paint murals in libraries at low-income elementary schools. http:// www.accessbooks.net
Big Brothers and Big Sisters Mentor children ages 6-17 one-on-one. Meet two-four times/per month for 2-3 hours each time. One year minimum commitment. www.bigbrothersbigsisterslaie.org. Call 1-800-207-7567.
Bookends Guided by BookEnds' staff members, student volunteers organize book drives in their schools and then take the books to an elementary school in need of books. www.bookends.org.
Common Ground www.commongroundwestside.org 310-314-5480
HOLA Heart of Los Angeles. http://hola.org. Tutor and mentor youth served by this community center in the Rampart area of Los Angeles. It provides much needed after-school enrichment. 213-389-1148.
Reading to Kids Give kids the joy of reading. Read to kids the second Saturday of each month at four elementary schools downtown and one in North Hills, 9:00 AM -12 PM, at one of eight elementary schools in Los Angeles. Readers must be 18 years old or older. http://readingtokids.org, 310) 479-7455. Fax: (310) 479-7435. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Neighborhood Youth Association (NYA) and Las Doradas Children's Center The NYA provides fter school activities for children in Venice. It also operates the Las Doradas Pre-school. www.nyayouth.org. 310-664-8893
Project Angel. Collect infant supplies for Project Angel which helps new mothers at County/USC Hospital.
Schools on Wheels The mission of this organization is to enhance the education of homeless children in grades K - 12. Volunteer opportunities include tutoring a child once a week and collecting backpacks full of school supplies. Tutors must be 18 years or older. www.schoolonwheels.org 310-589-2642
Venice Family Clinic Read to children in the children's play area. Minimum age 18 or high school senior. www.venicefamilyclinic.org
Help the Elderly
Center for Healthy Aging and Wise Senior Services (310) 576-2550 www.centerforhealthyaging.org
Meals-on-Wheels Volunteers are needed to deliver lunches 11 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. in Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades to seniors who are shut-ins. Sign up with a friend! Try this one time or do it once a week. Contact number: 310-394-7558. Ask for Joanna, 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM.
Sydney Cooper Senior Smiles trains, recruits, and educates volunteers on the needs of the elderly, and then pairs the volunteer with a lonely senior. Open to volunteers of all ages. Local training is provided. Visit lonely seniors once a week. Website: www.seniorsmiles.org. Email: email@example.com. Contact Erik Hochstein at 310-459-0490.
Other: Entertain at a retirement home. Sing with your Brownie troop, members of your choir, or just some friends. Visit a retirement home and play games with the residents. Adopt a grandparent. Bake cookies. Take them flowers.
Help Our Environment
Ballona Wetlands Trust. Participate in monthly wetlands clean-ups on the second Saturday of each month. www.ballona.org.
Children's Nature Institute Share your love of nature and our local wilderness areas. Become a volunteer and lead walks for young children in Temescal Canyon Park and other areas. After training, you are requested to lead one three hour walk a month. Call the volunteer co-ordinator at 310-860-9484 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compost your garden The rich nutrients from composted yard trimmings and kitchen scraps add to a garden's health by reducing waste, water consumption, and chemical use. The L.A. Department of Sanitation sells bins at its Griffith Park location and provides periodic mobile composting workshops and bin sales. www.lacity.org/san
Heal-the-Bay Heal the Bay has monthly beach cleanups throughout Los Angeles. Adopt-a-Beach: your group can commit to clean-up a local beach three times during the year. Contact number: 310-451-1500
The Learning Garden. This community garden, located at Venice High School, teaches students and the community about the benefits of organic gardening and environmental awareness. www.thelearninggarden.org.
The Master Gardeners Volunteer Training Program trains volunteers to help Los Angeles County plant vegetable gardens. If you are interested in receiving more information regarding training, please contact Gloria Mitchell at (323) 260-3348 or email@example.com .
Palisades Beautiful Help plant parkway trees in Pacific Palisades. This group plants 50-100 trees yearly. Contact them if you would like a tree or would like to help plant. 310-459-7145.
Palisades Cares Help Beautify the Palisades. Work to increase recycling, clean the beach, encourage water conservation, and publicize sustainable living. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Marie Steckmest at 310-459-1614.
Santa Monica Baykeeper Initiated in 1995, the Beachkeeper Water Quality Monitoring Program mobilizes volunteers to participate in the hands-on monitoring, data collection, and water sampling needed to assess the damage caused by urban runoff. Beachkeeper volunteers are educated about the causes and ramifications of storm water pollution and are trained to visually monitor the health of a stretch of coastline or creek. Monthly projects include restoration of Stone Creek at UCLA. Contact Heather Burdick. www.smbaykeeper.org
Learn how to be more sustainable and help others Attend a Sustainable Works workshop. This Santa Monica project of Community Partners runs workshops that teach people about their environmental impact and how to live more sustainable lives. This six-week session costs $25 for Santa Monica residents and $50 for non-Santa Monica residents. www.sustainableworks.org
Temescal Canyon Association Help maintain trails in the Santa Monica Mountains. Contact: 310-459-5931
Treepeople Help plant trees to green Los Angeles. www.treepeople.org
Village Green You are invited to join this group of volunteers who maintain the privately owned Village Green Park located in the center of Pacific Palisades on Sunset at Swarthmore. They meet the third Saturday of the month at 9:00 a.m. till 11:00 a.m. For more information call Marge Gold at (310) 459-5167 or visit their website at www.palisadesvillagegreen.org.
Help the Homeless
Chrysalis Help their homeless clients learn employment skills such as computer, resume writing, and interviewing at locations in Santa Monica, Pacoima, and downtown L.A. Participate in a one-time evening mentoring session. Contact: 310-392-4117. www.changelives.org
Collect toiletries for the homeless. Make toiletry kits for homeless people using donated soap, shampoo, and lotion. You can also buy toothbrushes, toothpaste, and combs at Big Lots or the 99 cent store. Put them in baggies and deliver to OPCC or St. Joseph Center to be donated to people in need.
Daybreak Shelter This shelter for homeless, mentally ill women on Cloverfield and 26th in Santa Monica, is a project of OPCC. Volunteers can sign up to make dinner for the 25 clients and also help instruct in art activities. Contact Donna Miller at 310-264-6646.
OPCC Access Center Make lunches for homeless and low income people who come to this intake center on Colorado and 7th. Donate small containers of toiletries. www.opcc.net
Palisades Hunger Committee Help organize the annual Palisades Hunger Walk. 310-477-3633 ext. 2.The next walk will be in April, 2008. Get sponsors, walk with your friends and family, and raise funds for hungry people.
P.A.T.H. People Assisting the Homeless This non-profit organization provides programs for homeless people at three locations in Los Angeles. Opportunities are available for serving dinner to the clients at the Westside facility. www.epath.org
St. Joseph Center Serve lunch to homeless clients at Bread and Roses Cafe weekdays from 9 am to 12 noon. www.stjosephctr.org or call the Volunteer Director, at 310-396-6468 to sign up.
Turning Point Transitional Housing Serve dinner or lunch on weekends and make lunches for the 55 clients in this transitional housing program located in Santa Monica. Turning Point is a program of OPCC. Contact Vivica Cole at 310-828-6717 from 9 AM -1 PM M-F for further information and for other volunteer opportunities. www.opcc.net
The Vet's Garden Horticulture Therapy Program This garden project at the VA helps homeless veterans. Garden or help with career counseling. 310-268-4062.
Westside Food Bank Organize a food drive and donate food to the local foodbank. www.westsidefoodbankca.org.The following items are needed at local social service agencies that assist hungry people: Cans of soup, vegetables, fruit, stews, beans; peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, instant soup, baby food.
Help People Who Are Ill or with Special Needs
Project Angel Food. Help serve food to people suffering from AIDS and other illnesses at this location in Hollywood. www.angelfood.org
Help Our Armed Forces
Soldiers' Angels Help create care packages for soldiers in Iraq. www.soldiersangels.org.
The Vets' Garden Horticulture Therapy Program provides a healing, positive, structured environment in which to rehabilitate veterans through "hands on" paid work experience at the West L.A. Veterans Administration Medical Center. Volunteers are needed to assist with gardening, business operations and employment preparation for the vets.