“At Their Service” for Pasadena Magazine

Money isn’t the only way to help the needy–your time and talents can be just as helpful to local nonprofits.

September 2009

With so many local charities or local chapters of nationwide charities, there is never a shortage of ways to help others in need. This guide will help you discover how to use your unique gifts and passions to serve in different capacities. Don’t hesitate to contact an organization about more ways to help.

The Western Justice Center Foundation

Their aim is to increase the opportunity for peaceful conflict resolution through “educating, community engagement, and by creating self-sustaining systems that address conflict in a proactive way.” Volunteers can serve in programs involving schools, the Pasadena Police, peer mediation, parents and families. Fill out a volunteer application online and send it in with your resume and cover letter. www.westernjustice.org. (626) 584-7494.

Villa Esperanza Services

Now in its 48th year, Villa Esperanza Services provides programs and education for developmentally disabled people of all ages and their caregivers. Volunteer by assisting a client in a program with activities like exercise and art, or beautify the campus, help around an office, perform various fundraiser tasks or share your talents with clients. Submit a volunteer form online at www.villaesperanzaservices.org or contact Alex Paschal at (626) 449-2919 ext. 162 or apaschal@villaesperanzaservices.org.

United Nations Association (Pasadena/Foothills Chapter)

This local chapter, in accordance with the UNA-USA’s goals, aims to raise education about and support for the United States’ membership in the United Nations and its eight main goals of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education and others. Volunteers are needed for an October UN Day festival, advocacy, research, ad campaigns and more.

sherry@unapasadena.org. unapasadena.org. (626) 449-1795.

Flintridge Operating Foundation

This foundation nurtures nonprofit organizations serving children and families in Northwest Pasadena and Altadena. Their community service program provides technical assistance and training for organizations, while the Northwest ECHO program offers support to various groups fostering positive youth development and alternatives to gang involvement. Volunteers are needed to work in the Philanthropy Resource Library, help with trainings and workshops and assist with a mentoring program and after-school activities for John Muir High School students. They can also refer you to other local nonprofit organizations.

lisa@flintridgefoundation.org. www.flintridgefoundation.org. (626) 449-0839.

Clothes Off Our Back

This foundation, started by actors Jane Kaczmarek and Bradley Whitford, auctions celebrity attire—think Katherine Heigl’s Oscar gown or jeans Keifer Sutherland wore on “24”—autographed books and other items, with the proceeds going toward children’s charities. Help by bidding on auction items, or donating celebrity items that can be sold. info@clothesoffourback.com. www.clothesoffourback.org. (818) 753-2404.

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

This fundraising walk takes place September 12-13 this year. The Avon Foundation says it “places a priority on returning funds to the geographic area in which each Avon Walk takes place with a special emphasis on reaching low-income, elderly and minority individuals and those with inadequate health insurance.” Before the walk, volunteers can spread the word at events in their area, help with office tasks, and create encouraging posters for the walk. Various stations will need volunteers during the walk itself. Sign up to volunteer at walk.avonfoundation.org. (323) 931-3003.

Entertainment Industry Foundation

The Entertainment Industry Foundation uses the entertainment industry’s power and assets to raise awareness and funds for critical health, educational and social issues in order to positively impact the community and nation. Annually, EIF funds more than 300 charitable organizations within the greater Los Angeles area and throughout the U.S. This fall, EIF is launching YRUHere.org, a site where people can find inspiration on why they should volunteer and what opportunities exist in their hometowns in the service areas they care about most. Volunteer opportunities will fall into five main categories: Education and Children, Health and Well-Being, Environmental Conservation, Economic Development and Support for Military Families. www.eifoundation.org. (213) 240-3900.

American Red Cross

Widely known for providing disaster relief, this organization also offers five other areas of compassionate service. Many volunteer opportunities exist, such as support with blood drives, office work, health and safety instruction and more. The first step is attending volunteer orientation. Register for orientation by calling Teruko Ohkagawa at (626) 799-0841 ext. 630. www.sgpvarc.org. www.redcross.org.

American Heart Association

Their ultimate goal is to reduce risk, disability and death from heart disease and stroke by 25 percent by the year 2010 and they hope to accomplish this through education, different programs and your help. Participate in fundraising, walk in the Start!Heart Walk, get involved with Jump Rope for Heart, a program in which elementary school students raise funds by receiving pledges for jumping rope, donate a vehicle or make a memorial or tribute gift in honor of a loved one. www.americanheart.org. LA County Division: (213) 291-7000


This large, nonprofit, private children’s mental health and welfare agency provides a residential treatment center for youth, foster care and adoption services, school-based and outpatient mental health services and more. Volunteer opportunities include helping with Battle of the Bowl—a Rose Bowl flag football fundraiser—and Dinners from the Heart—an annual event where local restaurants donate proceeds from dinner purchases to Hathaway-Sycamores. contact@hathaway-sycamores.org. www.hathaway-sycamores.org. (626) 395-7100.

Five Acres

Five Acres serves vulnerable children and families by offering programs focused on therapeutic family support, education, and finding permanent, loving homes for children. Offer time by becoming an “angel” to Five Acres children by providing birthday parties, monthly activities and other events; become a foster or adoptive parent; mentor or tutor a child, or be a storyteller. Contact Pearl Kim at pkim@5acres.org or www.fiveacres.org. (626) 798-6793 ext. 2296.

The LEAP Foundation

This budding organization stands for Leadership for Empowerment, Altruism and Philanthropy, and is comprised of women who support non-profit organizations with fundraising efforts and the provision of micro-loans to women in developing countries. LEAP has worked with charities like The Foundation for Camp Max Straus, Kidsave, and Charity:Water. Members may volunteer at camps or dog adoptions; build care packages or write letters to soldiers and whatever else is needed. They also serve at fundraising events for other organizations and hold their own events as well. Members and non-members can volunteer. For more information, contact carina@theleapfoundation.org or go to www.theleapfoundation.org.

AIDS Service Center

For over 20 years, ASC has helped individuals and families affected by and at risk for HIV/AIDS. Their varied services include individualized healthcare programs, housing assistance, transportation, food, childcare, counseling, legal help and education. Help out with a special event, weekly food distribution, or general assistance like clerical work and more. www.aidsservicecenter.org. (626) 441-8495.

Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA

This independent, donor-supported, non-profit agency provides care for abandoned and homeless animals and is responsible for animal control and welfare for seven area cities. They also teach community members and students about proper pet care and animal appreciation through their Humane Education Program and investigate cases of animal abuse, neglect and cruelty. Volunteers can assist with dog training classes; take their own well-socialized pets to visit with residents of convalescent homes and hospitals in conjunction with the Companion Animal Program; aid in pet adoptions or even adopt an animal themselves. sandy@phsspca.org. www.pasadenahumane.org. (626) 792-7151.


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